Chemist chain Alliance Boots yesterday said it was paying £56 million to take a stake in Chinese wholesaler Nanjing Pharmaceutical.
The deal, first touted more than a year ago, will strengthen Alliance Boots’ ties with China’s government and regulators. Alliance executive chairman Stefano Pessina said China – the world’s second biggest economy – was committed to improving its healthcare sector.
Alliance Boots will become Nanjing Pharma’s second-largest shareholder with a 12 per cent stake and board representation following the deal, which has still to gain regulatory approval.
Pessina, who turned his family’s wholesale pharmaceutical firm in Italy into a business empire through a flurry of mergers and acquisitions, is now eyeing 20-30 per cent of the Chinese pharmaceutical distribution market.
He said: “In ten years, I hope we will be one of the major players in China or we will be, together with other companies, part of one of the major players.”
The firm entered the Chinese market in 2008 through its Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals joint venture.
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