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AmerisourceBergen to buy Alliance Healthcare from WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance is exiting its Alliance Healthcare business. The company is selling the business to AmerisourceBergen for $6.5 billion in a cash-and-stock transaction comprised of $6.3 billion in cash and 2 million shares of AmerisourceBergen common stock. 

Walgreens Boots Alliance said the move was meant to enable it to increase its focus on expanding its core retail pharmacy business, growing the healthcare offerings it makes available to its customers and accelerating progress on its strategic priorities. The company also said that under AmerisourceBergen, Alliance Healthcare — which provides logistics and supply chain services — would be able to better support pharmacies and pharmacists, as well as integrated solutions for pharmaceutical manufacturers. As one of Europe’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, Alliance Health will strengthen AmerisourceBergen’s global platform and grow its ability to support global access, the companies said. 

“This strategic agreement with AmerisourceBergen, which we consider to be the world’s leading pharmaceutical wholesaler, is a very positive development for the two companies. This deal will enable significant value creation for both companies and will generate new synergies in addition to those already captured. It is a logical step following the success of our long-term strategic relationship with AmerisourceBergen which has been a strong and trusted partner since 2013,” said Stefano Pessina, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “The transaction will fuel higher future investments to grow and transform our core retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses, and is EPS accretive long-term for Walgreens Boots Alliance.”

In addition to the transaction, WBA and AmerisourceBergen will be expanding and extending their commercial agreements. The companies’ U.S. distribution agreement is being extended by three years, lasting until 2029, and their partnership is expanding to include efforts to pursue additional sourcing and distribution opportunities. In the United Kingdom, Alliance Healthcare UK will remain Boots’ distribution partner until 2031. 

“AmerisourceBergen’s vital role in the health system as a key pillar of pharmaceutical innovation and access has been on full display over the past year,” said Steven Collis, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of AmerisourceBergen. “AmerisourceBergen’s financial and strategic position enable 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. I look forward to extending and expanding our successful partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance and welcoming the industry-leading team at Alliance Healthcare to AmerisourceBergen. Together, we will fulfill AmerisourceBergen’s purpose of being united in our responsibility to create healthier futures.”

This deal is the latest development in the two companies’ longtime partnership, which began in 2013. Currently, WBA is AmerisourceBergen’s largest shareholder with a nearly 30% stake and WBA co-COO Ornella Barra sits on AmerisourceBergen’s board. 

The transaction is expected to close by the end of AmerisourceBergen’s fiscal 2021. 

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