Merger of WAG, Alliance Boots creates global Rx, HBA giant

Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina with Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson

It’s a marriage of industry icons. In June, Walgreens finally made a long-awaited leap across the Atlantic to acquire British-based Alliance Boots, one of the world’s premier retailers of pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, and beauty care products. 

The merger creates a global giant in drug store retailing, pharmacy services and wholesaling. Launched with a single store selling herbal remedies in Nottingham, England, in 1849, Alliance Boots operates more than 3,200 units with pharmacies, and services more than 170,000 pharmacies, physicians, health centers and hospitals throughout the world through its wholesale businesses and allied ventures. 

Combined, the two companies are the global leader in pharmacy-led health-and-wellness retailing, with more than 11,000 stores in 12 countries. Walgreens/Alliance Boots also comprises the world’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs.

Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said the deal created unmatched economies of scale as “the first global pharmacy-led healthcare platform.”

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