Daily News: June 10, 2019

Amherst Advises on CVS Ritzman Pharmacy Acquisition


Ritzman Pharmacy has been acquired by CVS Health. Amherst Partners assisted Ritzman in successfully refinancing three years ago and served as financial advisor to Ritzman on the transaction.

Established in 1950 and headquartered in Wadsworth, OH, Ritzman operated nearly two-dozen retail pharmacy locations in communities surrounding Akron. The family-owned and operated business prided itself on providing customers with high-quality, personalized service and professional excellence generally not found in big box competitors in the pharmacy industry.

In 2016, Amherst’s Restructuring Advisory Group was engaged to assist Ritzman with an assessment of its operations, including a store-by-store review of financial performance and an analysis of their strategic plan. Management subsequently requested Amherst expand its role to assist with the development and evaluation of various strategic alternatives, including the financial implications of those alternatives. Ultimately, Amherst assisted Ritzman in soliciting and evaluating senior debt proposals from multiple lending institutions, with AloStar Bank of Commerce ultimately being selected as the new lender.

A year after the conclusion of the refinancing, Ritzman’s owners approached Amherst Partners again for assistance in finding the right buyer to take over the now reorganized chain of pharmacies, with an emphasis on finding a buyer who would continue to provide Ritzman customers with high-quality pharmacy services.

With assistance from the firm’s Investment Banking Group, Amherst ran a robust process that included other regional and national pharmacy chains, as well as private equity, to find a buyer. When CVS indicated an interest in purchasing the chain, Amherst worked to help resolve issues with other stakeholders, like a chain of grocery stores which hosted some Ritzman locations. CVS rebranded some of the 23 Ritzman stores and elected to close others, consolidating their prescriptions into nearby existing CVS locations.

“This is a really good example of our commitment to deliver long-term value to our clients,” said Amherst Restructuring Practice Leader Sheldon Stone. “Once the scope of the original restructuring engagement was completed, we stayed engaged with Ritzman’s ownership, providing them with insights and advice when they needed it. As it became clear that a sale was in their best interests, our colleagues in our Investment Banking practice were able to step in and provide them with virtually seamless support through the transaction process.”

Founded in 1994, Amherst Partners is a leading financial advisory firm, specializing in restructuring advisory, corporate finance, and capital raising services.