Walgreens' Boots Alliance buys 40% in Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores for $418 mn

US drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc yesterday acquired a 40-per cent stake in Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores Co. (GuoDa), a subsidiary of China National Accord Medicines Corp, for $418 million (2.767 billion yuan).

GuoDa is a leading retail pharmacy chain in China, operating more than 3,500 retail pharmacies across around 70 cities, and employs nearly 20,000 people.

Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance 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,'' he added.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has had a drug wholesale joint venture in China called Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals.

Founded more than 100 years ago, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the US and Europe.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has a presence in more than 25 countries and employ more than 385,000 people.

The company is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail and, together with the companies in which it has equity method investments, has more than 13,200 stores in 11 countries as well as one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, with more than 390 distribution centers.

The company's portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and Botanics.