04/16/2013 05:43 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Jean Coutu Group sells 72.5M shares in Rite Aid pharmacy chain for $158.5M

LONGUEUIL, Que. - Jean Coutu Group (TSX:PJC.A) has sold off a large share of its stock in the U.S.-based pharmacy chain Rite Aid for US$158.5 million.

The Montreal company said Tuesday it has shed 72.5 million common shares for an average price of US$2.20 per share.

Following the sale, the pharmacy retailer will still own 178.4 million shares in Rite Aid which represents 11.7 per cent of the company.

Jean Coutu will book a gain of $49.7 million in its net profit in the first quarter of 2014.

Before the announcement, shares of Jean Coutu gained 14 cents to close at $15.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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