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WBA, AmerisourceBergen complete Alliance Healthcare deal

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Walgreens Boots Alliance’s sale of its Alliance Healthcare business is complete. AmerisourceBergen has paid a total consideration of $6.5 billion in cash and stock for the European pharmaceutical wholesaler. 

“We are excited to complete the acquisition and extend a warm welcome to the talented team at Alliance Healthcare,” AmerisourceBergen chairman, president and CEO Steven Collis said. “The acquisition of Alliance Healthcare expands our reach and solutions in pharmaceutical distribution and adds to AmerisourceBergen’s breadth and depth of global manufacturer services. With Alliance Healthcare, we will advance our ability to provide innovative and global healthcare solutions and further our purpose of being united in our responsibility to create healthier futures.”

WBA said it was using a portion of the funds from the sale to repay an outstanding amount owed on a $3.8 billion term loan that funded the bond tender it completed in April, eliminating $3.3 billion in debt from its balance sheet. It said the remainder of the net cash proceeds would go toward reducing debt and investments focused on growing its retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses. WBA highlighted its acquisition of a majority stake in pharmacy technology provider iA and its ongoing partnership with VillageMD to build 600 to 700 Village Medical at Walgreens clinics as examples of these investments. 

“Completion of this transaction represents a significant step forward in our transformation and will fuel investments to grow WBA’s core retail pharmacy and healthcare businesses,” Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer said. “Through these and other investments, WBA looks to bring even more innovative healthcare offerings to our customers and patients, as we further accelerate our strategic priorities.”

Also as part of the deal, which was announced in January, WBA and AmerisourceBergen will expand and extend commercial agreements that they said would drive incremental growth and synergies. 

AmerisourceBergen has updated its fiscal year 2021 guidance to reflect the addition of the business and the impact of the 2 million shares of common stock delivered at the transaction’s close. It now expects revenue of at least $210 billion and adjusted earnings per share of between $8.90 and $9.10 — up from its previous range of $8.45 to $8.60. 

WBA and AmerisourceBergen will also execute on the expansion and extension of commercial agreements that the companies said are expected to drive incremental growth and synergies.

“This transaction provides great benefit for both companies and is a logical step following the continued success of our long-term strategic relationship,” said Ornella Barra, WBA international COO Ornella Barra said. “The Alliance Healthcare teams are joining a global pharmaceutical distribution leader and trusted partner in AmerisourceBergen, and we look forward to continuing to work together as strategic partners.”