FINANCE

Walgreens acquires stake in Chinese pharmacy chain

BY Marianne Wilson

Walgreens Boots Alliance now holds a minority stake in a leading retail pharmacy chain in China.

The drugstore retailer has completed its previously announced agreement to acquire a 40% minority stake in Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores Co. Sinopharm is China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation’s retail pharmacy platform and operates more than 3,800 retail pharmacies across around 70 cities.

Walgreens acquired the minority stake for about $416 million. The company will account for the stake as an equity method investment. Healthcare expenditure in China is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“We believe GuoDa holds a strong position in the sector, and as a global pharmacy-led health and beauty enterprise, we are well positioned to support its further growth ambition,” said Walgreens executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. “We are looking forward to sharing our international best practices and pharmacy expertise. We believe there is great potential in working together to play a transforming role in the evolving Chinese retail pharmacy market.”

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