Rite Aid said Sunday that it filed for bankruptcy protection and obtained $3.45 billion in fresh financing as it carries out a restructuring plan while coping with falling sales and opioid-related lawsuits.
The pharmacy chain is expected to close more of its 2,100 stores, though the exact number has not yet been determined. The pharmacy currently operates 102 stores in New Jersey.
Jeffrey Stein, who heads a financial advisory firm, was also announced as Rite Aid’s CEO as of Sunday, replacing Elizabeth Burr, who was interim CEO and remains on Rite Aid’s board.
Stein is an experienced corporate leader and executive director with significant expertise in supporting companies that are driving meaningful business transformations and undergoing financial restructurings.
“Rite Aid has served customers and communities across our country for more than 60 years, and the important actions we are taking today will enable us to move ahead as a stronger company,” Stein said. “With the support of our lenders, we look forward to strengthening our financial foundation, advancing our transformation initiatives and accelerating the execution of our turnaround strategy. In doing so, we will be even better able to deliver the health care products and services our customers and their families rely on — now and into the future.”
In 2022, Rite Aid settled for up to $30 million to resolve lawsuits alleging pharmacies contributed to an oversupply of prescription opioids. It said it had reached an agreement with its creditors on a financial restructuring plan to cut its debt and position itself for future growth and that the bankruptcy filing was part of that process.
Additionally, Rite Aid said it is making every effort to ensure customers of impacted stores have access to health services, whether at another Rite Aid or a nearby pharmacy, and will work to transfer prescriptions accordingly so that there is no disruption of services. The company will also transfer associates at impacted stores to other Rite Aid locations where possible.
Stein continued: “We remain focused on serving our customers and communities, and we are grateful that they continue to choose our stores and pharmacies for their health care needs. We thank our associates for their ongoing hard work and dedication, and we extend our gratitude to our partners, suppliers and vendors for their continued support.”