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Walgreens, Boots merger to go ahead

Alliance Boots says it is delighted that Walgreens has exercised its option to complete the second step of its strategic transaction with the company, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The new company will be the first global pharmacy-led health and well-being enterprise. It will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance and headquartered in the Chicago area.

Boots will continue to be headquartered in Nottingham, England, and the support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain across Europe.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will consist of four divisions - Walgreen Co, the largest drugstore chain in the United States; Boots, the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in Britain and Ireland; pharmaceutical wholesale and international retail, including Alliance Healthcare, Europe's largest pharmaceutical wholesaler; and global brands.

The management team will comprise senior executives from both companies, led by Greg Wasson as president and chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Stefano Pessina will be executive vice chairman, responsible for strategy and mergers and acquisitions, and chairman of a new strategy committee of the board of directors.

Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, said the expected creation of the new enterprise would represent the most significant milestone in the history of the group and, importantly, a very positive step for the future of the healthcare industry as a whole.

The merger combines two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted healthcare services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years each.

It will create a new global leader in pharmacy-led health and well-being retail with more than 11,000 stores in 10 countries. These figures include Alliance Boots associates and joint ventures.

The full combination also will establish the world's largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network, with more than 370 distribution centres delivering to more than 180,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals in 20 countries.

Walgreens Boots Alliance will be the world's largest purchaser of prescription drugs and many other health and well-being products. The combined size, scale and expertise should help Walgreens and Alliance Boots expand the supply, and address the rising cost, of prescription drugs worldwide.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots disclosed that it had entered a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co, the largest drugstore chain in the US, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise.


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