Thrifty PayLess, Inc. (formerly TCH Corporation) and Green Equity Investors, L.P. have requested Federal Trade Commission approval to divest the pharmacy business of the Thrifty Drugstore in Fort Bragg, California, to Ronald T. Lim. The application will be subject to public comment for 30 days until October 7.
Lim, a pharmacist for 23 years, proposes to operate the pharmacy business in Fort Bragg at the Thrifty Store located at 189 Highway #20.
Prior FTC approval of the divestiture is required under a 1994 Commission order settling FTC charges surrounding the $1.16 billion acquisition by TCH Corporation, the owner of the Thrifty and Bi-Mart drug-store chains, of the PayLess drug-store chain from the Kmart Corporation. The Commission alleged that the acquisition could increase the likelihood of higher prices for prescription drugs in retail outlets in six localities, four in California and one each in Oregon and Washington state.
Under the 1994 consent order, TCH is required to divest the pharmacy business in either the PayLess, Thrifty, or Bi-Mart drug store in each of the six localities: Fort Bragg, Bishop, Mt. Shasta and Taft, California; Florence, Oregon; and Ellensburg, Washington. This is the fourth divestiture application the FTC has received in this matter. (Three other applications, for Taft, Bishop, and Mt. Shasta, California, were announced for public comment on Aug. 21 and 28 respectively.)
In its application to the FTC for approval of the divesti- ture, TCH states that Lim "has successfully operated a pharmacy inside a separately-owned market in Redding, California for 19 years...[and] is fully capable and committed to transforming the Thrifty Pharmacy assets into a viable and competitive independent pharmacy which will compete with the other pharmacies in the town of Fort Bragg."
Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
Copies of the application and other documents associated with this case are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. C-3519)