Several years ago, Lee Maher and Chuck Whittall used to regularly com- pete to find freestanding drug- store sites for Eckerd’s or CVS. One day they met over a drink to consider joining forces. “We were chasing the same deals, so we said, ‘Let’s see how it goes if we work together. We’ll try two deals.’ Those two led to four, and before we knew it we had 12 deals. Now, we average 40 deals a year,” said Maher.