Walgreens Boots signs US$400m deal with Sinopharm

Pharmacy and healthcare company Walgreens Boots Alliance has paid RMB2.76 billion (US$417 million) for a 40 per cent stake in a drugstore chain owned by Sinopharm Group.

Sinopharm is China’s largest retailer of pharmaceutical and healthcare products and Walgreen will take a stake in its Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores subsidiary. The transaction is subject to review and approval from regulatory authorities in China.

“We have had a presence in China for around 10 years, initially through Alliance Boots, and are excited with the opportunity to further invest in the country’s fast-growing retail pharmacy sector,” says Walgreens chief executive Stefano Pessina.

Sinopharm says Walgreens Boots Alliance’s pharmacy expertise and international retail experience will help Guoda improve efficiencies and transform its business model to differentiate from domestic competitors. The partners will also explore opportunities in the broader Asian and global markets, in keeping with Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market, has made moves to speed up approvals of medicines and medical devices.

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