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The Wall Street Journal reports that it appears that JC Penney is close to finally unloading its Eckerd drug store chain in a pair of deals that would sell the southern US stores to CVS and the northeastern stores to Canadian retailer Jean Coutu.

The total price for Eckerd would be about $4.4 billion (US), or about 75 percent more than JC Penney bought the company for back in 1996.

Negotiations are characterized as being the "latter stages."
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