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    Duane Reade Assuming Eight Leases From Gristedes

    NEW YORK -- Duane Reade Holdings, Inc. said this week that its operating subsidiary has agreed to assume the leases of eight Gristedes locations in Manhattan. The transactions are expected to close by the end of June.

    NEW YORK -- Duane Reade Holdings, Inc. said this week that its operating subsidiary has agreed to assume the leases of eight Gristedes locations in Manhattan. The transactions are expected to close by the end of June.

    Each location will be renovated and fully converted to a Duane Reade store about six to eight weeks after each lease assumption. All of the stores are in locations complementing the drug chain's existing 135 units in the Manhattan.

    Private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, the majority owner of Duane Reade, is ponying up the equity capital needed to buy the leases and open the new stores.

    "These locations will bolster our leading market position, provide our customers with added convenience," said Duane Reade president and c.e.o. Richard W. Dreiling, adding that the chain also expects each location will generate positive cash flow upon conversion.

    Duane Read, the largest drug store chain in the metro New York area, operates 248 stores. Gristedes has 38 stores in Manhattan, seven of them with pharmacy departments.

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