Boots owner shores up Amazon defence with 40% stake in Chinese pharmacy retailer

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Boots Chinese pharmacy

The US-based parent company of Boots has completed an agreement to acquire a 40 per cent minority stake in Chinese pharmacy retailer Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s stake in GuoDa was acquired through a capital increase worth CNY 2.76 billion.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would account for the stake as an equity method investment.

The news comes just a week after Amazon announced plans to buy the American online pharmacy giant PillPack.

Amazon’s deal – which is due for completion late next year – sent shockwaves through the pharmacy sector, with shares in Walgreen Boots Alliance diving 10.6 per cent last week.

Speaking on the new minority stake in GuoDa, Walgreen Boots Alliance chief executive Stefano Pessina said they believed the Chinese retailer held “a strong position in the sector”.

“As a global pharmacy-led health and beauty enterprise, we are well positioned to support its further growth ambition,” he said.

“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.”

GuoDa operates more than 3800 retail pharmacies in arounc 70 cities and employs close to 20,000 people.

In 2016, it was consolidated into the China National Accord Medicines Corporation.

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