Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the U.S., has agreed to buy a 45 percent stake in the European pharmacy retailer Alliance Boots, thereby creating the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs, as well as other health and beauty products.
“The fit is natural,” says Stefano Pessina, executive chairman, Alliance Boots. “Walgreens’ consumer profile in the U.S. is similar to Boots’ in the U.K. in many ways: a trusted and much-loved pharmacy brand with a strong heritage.”
The deal gives Walgreens the option to finalize the buy out in 2015. Until then the two companies will continue to operate under their own brand names. When the transaction is completed in three years a new combined name will be announced.
“At Walgreens, our mission is to be America’s first choice for health and daily living–helping our customers to live well, stay well and get well. Today’s announcement represents an exciting opportunity to accelerate our five core strategies and advance that mission–in the U.S. and now internationally,” says Gregory Wasson, president and chief executive officer, Walgreens. “We are bringing together the strengths and expertise of each company to create a worldwide healthcare platform for the future that can provide innovative ways to address global health and wellness challenges.”
The $6.7 billion dollar deal will combine the retail power of both companies, creating an international presence of more than 11,000 stores in 12 countries and a portfolio of health and beauty brands such as No7, Botanics and Boots Laboratories.