Walgreens buys 40% stake in Chinese pharmacy chain for $416M

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Boots Alliance said Wednesday it would invest about $416 million to acquire a 40 percent stake in Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores, which operates and franchises retail pharmacies across China.

Walgreens believes it can provide expertise to GuoDa and support its growth ambitions.

"We are very pleased to become a strategic investor in GuoDa," said Walgreens Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. "It is China's leading pharmacy chain and we believe that we can positively contribute to its continued successful development with our global pharmacy expertise. 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."

GuoDa, which operates more than 3,500 retail pharmacies, is a subsidiary of China National Accord Medicines.

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