26 February 2008

To mark the formation of the 50:50 joint venture between Alliance Boots and its Chinese partner Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Company Ltd (GPC Ltd), in Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("GP Corp"), a two-day celebratory opening ceremony was held on 26 and 27 February 2008 in Guangzhou, China.

The ceremony was attended by approximately 2,000 guests, including customers, manufacturers, public decision-makers, employees and the press. Directors who attended from Alliance Boots included Stefano Pessina (Executive Chairman), Ornella Barra (Board Member and Wholesale & Commercial Affairs Director) to whom the business reports, George Fairweather (Group Finance Director) and Marco Pagni (Group Legal Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer).

Stefano Pessina commented: "We are extremely delighted to be celebrating the launch of our joint venture into the Chinese market, which is rapidly expanding and will soon be amongst the world's largest pharmaceutical markets. Our aim is to further develop our international presence in new areas and this is a significant step towards meeting our ambition of becoming a global leader. GP Corp's strong position within the Chinese healthcare market will enable it to take advantage of consolidation opportunities as they arise and contribute to strengthening the healthcare distribution channel in China. I am convinced that GP Corp has the necessary assets to become a truly national leader."

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Editor's Notes:

Alliance Boots is an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group with two core businesses, pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy. Working in partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, the Group delivers a range of products and services that help millions of consumers and patients look and feel their best. Formed on 31 July 2006, Alliance Boots is privately owned and employs around 105,000* people. It has a wholesale and distribution network serving more than 126,000* pharmacies, hospitals and health centres via over 360* depots in 15* countries and a network of approximately 3,100* outlets in nine* countries, of which around 2,800* have pharmacies.

* All figures include associates and affiliates

GP Corp is the fourth largest pharmaceutical wholesaler nationally with around a 3% market share, and is the leader in its home province of Guangdong with a market share of approximately 16%. Guangdong has a population of some 80 million and enjoys one of the fastest growing GDP per capita in China. GP Corp reported revenue of around £515 million for 2006, operates eight depots and has around 2,000 employees.

For further information, please contact:

Richard Constant, Gavin Anderson
Tel: +44 (0)20 7554 1400

Yves Romestan / Zoe Farthing, Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871569

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