05 May 2009

Alliance Boots today announces the successful completion of the merger of Boots Opticians with Dollond & Aitchison to form the second largest optical chain in the UK. The combined entity, which now trades as Boots Opticians, is being run as a stand-alone business within Alliance Boots.

Alliance Boots holds a controlling stake in the new company which is jointly owned with De Rigo, a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high-quality eyewear, and one of the largest optical retailers in Europe. Within the new business, Pradip Patel (former MD of Boots Opticians) becomes Chairman and Andy Ferguson (former CEO of Dollond & Aitchison) has been appointed as Managing Director.

Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, commented: “I am delighted that we are able to announce the completion of the merger between Boots Opticians and Dollond & Aitchison to create a leading force in the UK optical market. The union of these two businesses, which have a strong heritage and an excellent reputation for service and customer care, will enable us to combine these strengths under the Boots brand and further develop the new business.”

ENDS

Editor's Notes:

Alliance Boots is an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group with two core businesses, pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling. 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 over 110,000* people. It has a presence in over 20* countries operating over 370* pharmaceutical wholesale warehouses delivering to over 135,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals. It operates more than 3,200* health and beauty retail outlets, of which over 2,900* have a pharmacy dispensing more than 210 million* items each year.
* Figures stated are as at 31 March 2008, are approximate and include associates and joint ventures.

For further information, please contact:

Yves Romestan / Zoe Farthing Alliance Boots
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871569

Kirsty Flockhart / Zoe Watt, Finsbury
Tel: +44 (0) 207 251 3801

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