26 July 2010

Alliance Boots announces that it has become the majority shareholder in Hedef Alliance Holding A.S. (“Hedef Alliance”), one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in Turkey.  Alliance Boots, which has a 50% associate interest in Hedef Alliance, has increased its shareholding to 60% and will further augment its ownership in stages over the next two years. Ethem Sancak will continue as Executive Chairman with an increased personal stake. 

In addition to Turkey, Hedef Alliance has a controlling 50% stake of United Company of Pharmacists S.A.E. (“UCP”), the leading pharmaceutical wholesaler in Egypt, and an associate interest in Hydrapharm SPA, the largest wholesaler in Algeria. Hedef Alliance has consolidated revenue of around £2.4 billion (of which £1.9 billion is in Turkey and £0.5 billion in Egypt), operates over 130 distribution centres and has more than 8,500 employees.

Turkey, with a growing population of over 72 million, is one of the fifteen largest pharmaceutical markets in the world. Hedef Alliance was founded by Ethem Sancak and other members of his family in 1987. The Group made an initial 25% investment in 2001 increasing this to 50% in 2002.

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, commented: "We are delighted with this acquisition, in line with our strategy of investing internationally in strong companies in large and growing markets. In partnership with Ethem Sancak, we look forward to further developing Hedef Alliance and its businesses."

Ethem Sancak, Executive Chairman of Hedef Alliance, also commented: “The strategic partnership we established many years ago is further developed with this transaction, taking forward Hedef Alliance’s success with services to pharmacies and suppliers in the region.”

ENDS

Editor’s Notes:

Alliance Boots is a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group offering a wide range of products and services to our customers working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists. Our two core business activities are pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling. Alliance Boots is privately-owned and employs over 115,000* people. Its wholesale and distribution network serves over 150,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 360* pharmaceutical wholesale distribution centres in 16* countries. We operate more than 3,250* health and beauty retail stores in nine* countries, of which just under 3,150* have a pharmacy.

* Figures stated are as at 31 March 2010, are approximate and include associates and joint ventures.

The Turkish pharmaceutical market has favourable long term growth characteristics driven by the expansion of both the population and healthcare provision.  State health insurance has been extended so that it now covers most of the population.  Hedef Alliance is one of two large pharmaceutical wholesalers in Turkey, each of whom has around a third of the market.

For further information, please contact:

Yves Romestan / Sanam Conway, Alliance Boots 
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871564

James Murgatroyd / Kirsty Flockhart, Finsbury
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801

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