Longs shareholders approve buyout by CVS


POSTED: Saturday, October 18, 2008

WOONSOCKET, R.I. » CVS Caremark Corp. has had enough shareholders accept its buyout bid for Longs Drug Stores Corp. to guarantee the deal will close.

Still, the company again extended the tender offer by one day, until late yesterday, in order to buy the company's remaining stock.

CVS previously extended the $71.50-per-share tender offer until Thursday night after it came up just short on gaining the approval of holders of two-thirds of Longs' shares. CVS now owns just under 77.6 percent of Longs stock, giving it enough ownership to close the buyout.

The news comes a week after Walgreen Co. dropped its $2.8 billion bid for the company. Longs had already accepted CVS's offer, but several shareholders considered it too low and pushed for the company to consider Walgreen as a suitor. But some questioned whether Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen would face antitrust issues because of overlap between its West Coast stores and those of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs.

The CVS-Longs deal already has cleared antitrust review.

CVS does not have any pharmacy retail stores in Hawaii. It does have a specialty pharmacy in Kailua, with plans to open another one at Restaurant Row.