Boots owner and Europe’s largest pharmacy group Alliance Boots has sold a 45 per cent stake of its company to US pharmacy chain Walgreen for $6.7bn (£4.3bn).
Walgreen will pay $4bn (2.5bn) in cash and get more than 83 million shares for the stake. The US pharmaceutical giant also has the option of getting full control of Alliance Boots in the next three years.
Stefano Pessina, chairman of Alliance Boots, told The Guardian: “The fit is natural. Walgreen’s consumer profile in the US is similar to Boots’ in the UK in many ways: a trusted and much-loved pharmacy brand with a strong heritage. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses will provide their logistics know-how to Walgreens and are well placed to be one of the growth engines of the new enterprise.”
The merger of the two companies will make a pharmacy group that would be the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs with more than 370 distribution centres serving more than 170,000 pharmacies and health centres. The group will also have 11,000 shops in 12 countries
Last year, Walgreen reported annual sales of $72bn (£45bn) and Alliance Boots had a turnover of £23bn.
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