Walgreens Takes Stake in Chinese Pharmacy Chain

By Allison PrangFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. announced Wednesday it agreed to take a 40% minority stake in Chinese retail-pharmacy company Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores Co.

The Chinese company is a subsidiary of China National Accord Medicines Corp. and has over 3,500 stores and employs close to 20,000 people. Walgreens is acquiring the stake for about 2.767 billion yuan ($418 million), the company said. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

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"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," Walgreens Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said in prepared remarks.

Shares, which are down 15% this year, rose 0.4% in premarket trading.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 06, 2017 07:58 ET (12:58 GMT)