The Co-operative Group acquires more than 50 pharmacies in the UK

MANCHESTER, England The UK’s third largest chain, the Co-operative Group, announced today the purchase of more than 50 outlets in the north of England, marking the largest-ever pharmacy deal in the history of the company.

“This is a very significant deal and one which underlines our healthcare business’ position as one of the fastest-growing pharmacy chains in the UK,” said Peter Marks, chief executive of The Co-operative Trading Group. “I am delighted that with this acquisition we will add such a large number of high quality pharmacies to our existing network. Not only do they complement the branches we already have, but this is a welcome and major expansion in our heartlands in the north of England.”

The acquisition brings the group’s total number of pharmacies, branded as either Peak Pharmacy or Tims and Parker, to 779. It is the first major deal since The Co-operative Group and United Co-operatives merged this past summer, and is predicted to earn the company ?51 million ($105 million) annually

The 51 branches, in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, were purchased from the PCT Healthcare group, which operated around 100 pharmacies prior to the deal. PCT will continue to operate the others.

This acquisition is one in a number of recent big moves for The Co-operative Group. It has more than doubled its number of pharmacies since 2004, adding 190 from acquisitions and nearly 250 through it’s merger with United Co-operatives. The merger also created the world’s largest consumer co-operative, with 2.5 million active trading members and more than 80,000 employees.

“We have an innovative and fast-growing healthcare business, and one which will continue to lead the way,” added Marks. “We are looking forward to bringing our cooperative difference, as a consumer-owned organization, to the communities served by our new pharmacies.”

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