Express Rx Buys 7 AllCare Pharmacies

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Express Rx of Little Rock announced Monday that it acquired seven AllCare pharmacies in Arkansas, which the regional chain will rebrand and operate as Express Rx locations. 

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. AllCare is owned by W.P. Malone Inc., led by president and owner Percy Malone, a former Arkansas state senator.

With the AllCare deal, Express Rx now operates 30 pharmacies across eight states, including 11 in Arkansas, and has 305 employees, including 85 who had worked for AllCare. It owns the pharmacies in partnership with MHR Fund Management LLC of New York.

The AllCare pharmacies included in the deal are at:

  • 600 W. Main St. in Heber Springs,
  • 717 S. Main St. in Hope (Hempstead County), 
  • 105 Sawtooth Oak St. in Hot Springs,
  • 508 E. Walnut St. in Paris (Logan County),
  • 3006 W. 28th Ave. in Pine Bluff,
  • 1430 W. 1st St. N. in Prescott (Nevada County) and
  • 329 Highway 463 N. in Trumann (Poinsett County).

“Our focus has always been to provide health care especially for the underserved or rural areas, and the AllCare stores met that criteria,” Express Rx CEO Galen Perkins told Arkansas Business on Monday.

New temporary signage will appear in the next day or two at the former AllCare pharmacies, with the installation of more permanent signage planned over the next 30 days, Perkins said.

Of the seven pharmacies Express RX purchased, Perkins said the one in Prescott is the only pharmacy “in town.”

“So those really fit our model for the stores we like to have,” he said.

Franklin McLarty, an Express Rx advisory board member and minority stakeholder who helped facilitate the acquisition, told Arkansas Business the deal is an “excellent thing to count in an otherwise very, very, very tough year.”

“Having hometown pharmacies and hometown pharmacists, and locally owned and headquartered companies — I just think that’s something that’s really special,” McLarty said. “And we’re proud to be a part of it with a great executive team and taking over what has been really well run operations for decades.”

McLarty is also co-founder and chairman of Southern United Auto Group, co-founder and chairman of The Firmament Group and co-founder of CapRocq Core Real Estate Fund.

The AllCare deal follows Express Rx’s October 2019 purchase of 10 Fred’s pharmacies in five states. Since then, Express Rx has added another five new pharmacies to its portfolio — two in Missouri and one each in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. 

Perkins said the chain is “actively looking for opportunities to grow” in the eight states where it already has a presence.

The chain has also opened its previously announced new headquarters in Little Rock, but not all its employees are in that office yet. Many are working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least one other AllCare location has been purchased by Walgreens, according to a Dec. 1 report in the Baxter Bulletin. But neither AllCare nor Walgreens have released details about a deal.

Neither Malone nor Walgreens has responded to calls and emails from Arkansas Business.