Chicago-headquartered drugstore-chain Walgreens, and British pharmacy chain Alliance Boots have confirmed they will merge their businesses during the first quarter of calendar 2015, as Walgreens has exercised its option to buy the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots, thus completing its acquisition of 45% of the British company made in 2012.
The combined enterprise will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance and headquartered in the Chicago area. Boots will continue to be headquartered in Nottingham and the current support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain across Europe.
The merger combines two leading companies with iconic brands and complementary geographic footprints and creates a new global leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing retail with more than 11,000 stores in 10 countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance will be the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs and will manage a global portfolio of health and beauty product brands.
The new entity will consist of four Divisions: Walgreen Co. (the largest drugstore chain in the US); Boots (the UK and Republic of Ireland’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer); Pharmaceutical Wholesale and International Retail (including Alliance Healthcare, Europe’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler); and Global Brands. Greg Wasson will lead the new entity as President and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. He has served on the Walgreen Co. board since 2009.
The transaction is subject to shareholder and various regulatory approvals.