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Walgreens and Alliance Boots merge to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise

Nottingham, 2014-8-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alliance Boots is delighted that Walgreens has exercised its option to complete the second step of its strategic transaction with Alliance Boots. The new company will be the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. 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 transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar 2015, subject to shareholder and various regulatory approvals.

Walgreens Boots Alliance 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.

The management team of the combined enterprise will comprise senior executives from both companies, led by Greg Wasson as President and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Stefano Pessina will be Executive Vice Chairman, responsible for strategy and M&A, and Chairman of a new strategy committee of the Board of Directors. In addition, the following appointments have been announced:

  • Ornella Barra, Chief Executive, Wholesale and Brands of Alliance Boots, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President and Chief Executive of Global Wholesale and International Retail.
  • Jeff Berkowitz, President of Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Pharma and Global Market Access, which will include responsibility for specialty pharmacy.
  • Alex Gourlay, Walgreens President of Customer Experience and Daily Living, will become Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Walgreens.
  • Tim McLevish, previously announced as Walgreens Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will serve in that role in a global capacity for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Ken Murphy, Managing Director, Health & Beauty International and Brands of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Global Brands.
  • Simon Roberts, Managing Director, Health & Beauty, UK and the Republic of Ireland of Alliance Boots, will serve as Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots.
  • Tom Sabatino, Walgreens Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, will serve as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Tim Theriault, Chief Information, Innovation and Improvement Officer at Walgreens, will assume the role of Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Walgreens Chief Human Resources Officer, will become Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Other members of the Alliance Boots senior executive management team will fulfil a variety of key roles within Walgreens Boots Alliance, including Marco Pagni, Group Legal Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer of Alliance Boots, who will work with Stefano Pessina on strategy and M&A. Further information on this role and the broader management team will be communicated in due course.

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, commented: “The expected creation of the new enterprise will represent the most significant milestone in the history of our Group and, importantly, a very positive step for the future of the healthcare industry as a whole. Together with Walgreens, we have already made good progress over the past two years and I strongly believe that the merger will bring significant growth opportunities for both mature and emerging markets. Today’s announcement reflects the great track record and accomplishments of our people to date and I am convinced that their skills, expertise and commitment will continue to make a positive contribution in the years to come. This combination is a true partnership, further evidenced by the composition of the future management team of Walgreens Boots Alliance.”

Greg Wasson, President and CEO, Walgreens, added: “We are excited to move forward with the next important step in becoming a new kind of global healthcare leader. Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world. In addition, Stefano and I are pleased with the comprehensive plan we have announced today as part of Step 2. These elements will provide additional shareholder value creation, both in the near and long term. I congratulate our teams for getting us to this point and together we have a bright future.”

The Walgreens Boots Alliance merger combines two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted healthcare services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years each. Combining the companies will create a new global leader in pharmacy-led health and wellbeing retail with more than 11,000* stores in 10* countries and an unparalleled portfolio of retail and business brands, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands.

The full combination also will establish the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network with more than 370* distribution centres delivering to more than 180,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals in 20* countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance will be the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products. The combined size, scale and expertise will help Walgreens and Alliance Boots expand the supply, and address the rising cost, of prescription drugs in America and worldwide.


Notes to editors:

* Figures include Alliance Boots associates and joint ventures.

About Alliance Boots
Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core business activities of: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution, while increasingly developing and internationalising our product brands.

Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. We have pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine countries and operate more than 3,150 health and beauty retail stores, of which just under 3,050 have a pharmacy, with a fast growing online presence. In addition, Boots Opticians is one of the leaders in the UK optical market with around 600 practices, of which around 180 operate on a franchise basis, and we have a leading position in the UK hearingcare market through our associate, Boots Hearingcare, which operates in around 430 locations across the UK. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses supply medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 180,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from more than 370 distribution centres in 20 countries.

In June 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore chain in the US, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2014 and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:

Media relations:

Yves Romestan/Laura Vergani/Katie Johnson/Julie Longton, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8585
James Murgatroyd/Claire Scicluna, RLM Finsbury (UK): +44 (0)207 251 3801
Kal Goldberg/Kyle Giunta, RLM Finsbury (US): +1 646 805 2000

Investor relations:

Gerald Gradwell, Alliance Boots: +44 (0)207 980 8527 (UK)/+1 646 688 1336 (US)

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