Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced plans to sell Alliance Healthcare.

WBA – Boots’ parent company – announced yesterday (6 January) that it is selling the wholesaler arm of its business to US wholesale company AmerisourceBergen Corporation for $6.5bn.

The move will allow WBA to ‘increase its focus on further growing its core retail pharmacy businesses’, the announcement said.

As part of the new deal, Alliance Healthcare UK will, however, remain the distribution partner of Boots UK until 2031, the company added.

According to the company’s fiscal report released today, its international retail pharmacy division as a whole had first-quarter sales of $2.6bn – a 6.2% decrease on last year’s figures – which it said was mainly due to a 11.5% decrease in Boots UK sales resulting from the impact of Covid-19.

The deal between the two companies is expected to close by mid-2021.

‘Stronger support for pharmacies’

The announcement said that AmerisourceBergen’s acquisition of Alliance Healthcare would provide ‘even stronger support for pharmacies and pharmacists across the globe and integrated solutions for pharmaceutical manufacturers’.

Steven Collis, CEO of AmerisourceBergen, added: ‘AmerisourceBergen’s financial and strategic position enables this next evolution of enhancing our ability to provide healthcare capabilities across regions and deliver innovative solutions for our upstream and downstream partners.’

‘Today’s announcements will expand our reach and solutions in pharmaceutical distribution and add to AmerisourceBergen’s breadth and depth of global manufacturer services, supporting our ability to create differentiated value for all our stakeholders.’

Julian Mount, Alliance Healthcare UK’s managing director, said: ‘Today represents a new and exciting chapter for Alliance Healthcare UK. As part of one of the world’s largest wholesaling companies, we can synergistically realise the ambition of Alliance Healthcare UK.

‘I am tremendously excited about the opportunity this brings and am sure it will lead to some very near term benefits for UK pharmacy customers, patients and the NHS.'