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Alliance Boots and Walgreens confirm next stage of merger to create world’s largest pharmaceutical distribution network

The new company will have over 11,000 pharmacies in ten countries worldwide and will have the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network.

Boots pharmacy and Walgreens merge

Source: Rex Features / Alex Segre

Boots will keep its headquarters in Nottingham, England

Alliance Boots and Walgreens have announced that they will merge in the first quarter of 2015 — the new company will be called Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Once the deal is completed, Walgreens Boots Alliance will have more than 11,000 pharmacies in ten countries worldwide and will have the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network. It will also become the world’s largest purchaser of prescription medicines, according to a statement issued by Alliance Boots.

The new business will have its headquarters in Illinois. Boots will continue to have its headquarters in Nottingham, England, and the support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain in Europe.

In 2012, Walgreens and Alliance Boots formed a “strategic partnership” in which the US pharmacy chain bought a 45% stake in the European chain for $6.7bn with an option to buy the remaining 55% stake in the following three years. Walgreens has now confirmed that it will go forward with the second stage of the transaction, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

“The expected creation of the new enterprise will represent the most significant milestone in the history of our Group,” says Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots. “The merger will bring significant growth opportunities for both mature and emerging markets.”

Pessina will become executive vice chairman of the merged company and Greg Wasson, president and chief executive officer of Walgreens, will become president and CEO.

“Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world,” says Wasson. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066097

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