The acquisition will create the world’s largest pharmacy retailer, worth around $110bn (£70bn), with 11,000 stores in 12 countries and 365,000 employees. It will become the largest buyer of prescription drugs globally.
Walgreens has bought just under half of Alliance Boots stock (45%) and plans to acquire the remaining shares over the next six months. The pair announced they expect to gradually merge the two businesses over the next three years.
The major imperative for the merger is to create a strong platform to expand beyond both company’s traditional home markets in the UK and Europe, and the US, into emerging economies, according to Alliance Boots chairman Stefano Pessina.
Speaking as the merger was announced, Pessina said: “We will continue to develop our companies in our traditional markets, but it’s clear that the expansion in our markets will be limited in future.
“Most of the growth now is in other markets and, of course, the merger will give us even more enthusiasm and more energy, and why not, more capital, to expand in other countries,” he added.
Walgreens president Greg Wasson said the aim of the partnership was to ‘create a world of well.’
“We want to help people live well, stay well and get well, and we believe we can do that and we are best suited to do that here in the United States because we are at the core of what we call health and happiness. I see, and we see, bringing these two great companies together with the similar heritage and cultures to create a World of Well at what we would call the corner of global reach and local relevance,” he added.