April 27, 2018 / 9:17 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Fred's Inc CEO Michael Bloom steps down

(Adds details from statement, background)

April 27 (Reuters) - Fred's Inc, which was forced to abandon its bid to acquire certain stores of drug retailer Rite Aid Corp, said on Friday its Chief Executive Officer Michael Bloom has resigned.

The discount store operator said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Anto took over from Bloom as the interim CEO on April 24.

In June, Fred's was forced to scrap its bid for 1,200 Rite Aid Corp stores, a deal that was chalked out so that drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc could win antitrust approval for its purchase of Rite Aid.

However, the deal between Walgreens and Rite Aid failed to clear the regulatory hurdle.

"After the company was not able to purchase certain assets from the Rite Aid Corporation and following the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the timing was right, both for Mike and the Company, for him to step down," Fred's Chairman said in a statement.

Under the leadership of Bloom, who has been CEO since August 2016, Fred's has been cutting costs and closing underperforming stores to revive declining sales.

The company said the resignation of Bloom, who also gave up his board seat, was not the result of any disagreement with Fred's or its operations.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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