Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has completed the sale of its wholesaler arm, Alliance Healthcare, to US wholesale company AmerisourceBergen Corporation for $6.5bn.

The sale, first announced in January, was finalised for $6.275bn cash and two million shares of AmerisourceBergen common stock, WBA announced yesterday (2 June).

The company said it would use cash proceeds from the sale to ‘reduce debt and accelerate growth of its core retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses’.

WBA previously confirmed that Alliance Healthcare UK will remain the distribution partner of Boots UK until 2031, as part of the deal.

Rosalind Brewer, chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: ‘Completion of this transaction represents a significant step forward in our transformation and will fuel investments to grow WBA’s core retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses.

‘Through these and other investments, WBA looks to bring even more innovative healthcare offerings to our customers and patients, as we further accelerate our strategic priorities.’

Steven Collis, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AmerisourceBergen, said the acquisition of Alliance Healthcare ‘expands our reach and solutions in pharmaceutical distribution and adds to AmerisourceBergen’s breadth and depth of global manufacturer services’.

He added: ‘With Alliance Healthcare, we will advance our ability to provide innovative and global healthcare solutions and further our purpose of being united in our responsibility to create healthier futures.’