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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 3:20 p.m., Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Longs stores in Hawaii to retain name after CVS acquisition

Advertiser Staff

Longs Drug Stores in Hawai'i will continue to operate under that name after the California-based chain is acquired by CVS Caremark Corp, company officials said.

Rhode Island-based CVS said today it's buying Longs Drug Stores Corp. in a deal valued at $2.7 billion, excluding the assumption of debt.

Longs has 521 drugstores in California, Hawai'i, Nevada and Arizona and also operates Rx America, a prescription benefits management program that services more than 8 million members.

While the Longs stores in the continental U.S. will be converted to the CVS brand, the 39 stores in Hawai'i will retain the Longs' brand, CVS Chief Financial Officer David Rickard told The Associated Press in an interview.

The $71.50 per-share cash offer was announced after the end of trading and is a 32 percent premium over Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs' closing price of $54.04.

Longs' shares leaped 30 percent, or $16.21, to $70.25 in after-hours trading. Including the assumption of the chain's $200 million in debt, the deal would be valued at about $2.9 billion.

Executives at Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS said the deal will give the nation's largest provider of prescriptions significant inroads in fast-growing markets as well as the chain's first locations in Hawai'i.

"Geographic reach has become a more important thing for us," Rickard said.