Wells Fargo to close two bank branches in Lancaster and Lehigh counties

Due to the increase in digital banking and other reasons, Wells Fargo will close two of its bank branches in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, the company confirmed.

In a weekly bulletin last month published by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the financial institution said it was shuttering its locations at 702 N. Seventh St., Allentown, and 1 S. Church St., Quarryville.

Wells Fargo said in a statement that it “has made the difficult decision to close the Quarryville … branch on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, and the North Seventh Street branch in Allentown … on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, respectively. Until then, customers can use each branch and bank with us as they always have. After that, North Seventh Street customers can visit us at our 5 City Center branch, less than a mile away. Quarryville customers can visit us at our Bridgeport branch, approximately 11 miles away. We apologize for any inconvenience … .”

This is not a decision taken lightly, Wells Fargo said. “Branches continue to play an important role in the way we serve our customers, and we continuously evaluate our branch network in light of changing customer needs, the increase in the use of digital banking and market factors.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Rite Aid declines $815m buyout offer 

East Pennsboro Township-based Rite Aid confirmed on Thursday that it rejected a buyout offer from a New Orleans-based private equity firm. 

The confirmation follows an article published by the New York Post this week reporting that private equity firm Spear Point Capital Management offered to buy Rite Aid last month for $14.60 a share, or $815 million. 

The non-binding, off-market proposal included the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Rite Aid’s common stock. The proposal provided no evidence of financing, required multiple months of exclusivity and called for Rite Aid to spend months soliciting competing offers, Rite Aid wrote in a release on Thursday. 

Spear Point co-founder Ron Bienvenu was not available for comment at the time of posting.  

According to the New York Post, Spear Point has found a buyer interested in purchasing Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefits manager, Elixir, for $2 billion. The company also believes that Rite Aid could make more money by selling its data to other businesses. 

“The company and its board of directors reviewed the proposal with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, and the board concluded that the proposal was not credible and did not warrant further exploration,” Rite Aid said in its statement. 

Rite Aid reported its fourth quarter and full year results last week. In it, the national pharmacy chain reported a net loss from continuing operations of $389.1 million or $7.18 loss per share in the 13 week period ending on Feb. 26, 2022—an increase from $18 million from the last quarter last year. 

“The increase in net loss is due primarily to a current year charge of $229.0 million for the impairment of goodwill related to the Pharmacy Services Segment,” Rite Aid wrote in the report. 

Net loss from continuing operations for the fiscal year ended Feb. 26, 2022, was $538.5 million, or $9.96 loss per share, compared to last year’s net loss of $100.1 million, or $1.87 loss per share. 

Rite Aid added that the increase in net loss for both the fourth quarter and the year was partly due to drivers such as: included higher facility exit and impairment charges driven by company store closures, a gain on sale of assets in the prior fourth quarter and a gain on the acquisition of Bartell Drugs in the prior year’s fourth quarter.