Walgreens To Invest In Chinese Pharmacy Chain

Walgreens Boots Alliance is investing in a pharmacy retail chain in China.

The company said it has reached an agreement with China National Accord Medicines Corporation Ltd. to become an investor in its subsidiary, Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores Co., Ltd., which operates and franchises retail pharmacies across China.

Following a public tender process, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s bid met all the requirements set by the seller to acquire a 40% minority stake in GuoDa through a capital increase worth about $416 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and approval, and other customary closing conditions. Upon completion, Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would account for this stake as an equity method investment.

Headquartered in Shanghai, GuoDa operates more than 3,500 retail pharmacies across about 70 cities, and employs close to 20,000 people.

Stefano Pessina, Walgreens executive vice chairman and CEO, said, “We are very pleased to become a strategic investor in GuoDa. It is China’s leading pharmacy chain and we believe that we can positively contribute to its continued successful development with our global pharmacy expertise. We have had a presence in China for around 10 years, initially through Alliance Boots, and we are excited about the opportunity to further invest in the country’s fast growing retail pharmacy sector.”