August 4, 2008

Alliance Boots, a leading international pharmacy-led health & beauty group, announces today that it has signed an agreement to enter the Brazilian pharmaceutical wholesale market through the acquisition of an initial 25% equity shareholding in Athos Farma, S.A., one of Brazil’s leading pharmaceutical wholesalers. The completion of the transaction, which is subject to various conditions, is expected to take place later this year.

Rio de Janeiro-headquartered, Athos Farma is among the four largest wholesalers in Brazil, with a network of 17 pharmaceutical wholesale warehouses that currently serves approximately 26,000 pharmacies across all 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District. Its revenue in 2007 was approximately £556 million. 
Brazil’s USD15 billion pharmaceutical market is the largest in Latin America and the tenth largest in the world and is projected to show double digit growth for the next few years. The rapidly accelerating consolidation of Brazil’s historically fragmented pharmaceutical wholesale channel presents significant opportunities for growth and expansion.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, said: “We are pleased to announce this agreement which is in line with our strategy of gaining a presence in new geographical territories and emerging markets with strong growth potential. Athos Farma has a prominent position in the Brazilian pharmaceutical wholesale market and is favourably positioned to play a leading role in the further consolidation of the sector. It will provide a good platform for future expansion of Alliance Boots within the Brazilian market.”
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Editor’s Notes:

Athos Farma, S.A., provides a full range of ethical and generic medicines and other products to approximately 26,000 pharmacies (primarily independent and small and medium-size pharmacy chains) across all 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District from a network of 17 pharmaceutical wholesale warehouses. Historically, Athos has focused on Brazil’s northeast, northern, centre-west, and southeastern states, and is currently developing its presence in the state of Sao Paulo and surrounding southern states through the recent acquisition of regional wholesaler ANB Farma. Athos Farma was formed through the merger in 2003 of regional wholesalers Intermed Pharmaceutical (founded in 1962 by the Dias family) and Ita Enterprises (founded in 1975). It is a private company controlled by the Dias family.
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* employees. 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, Communications Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871569
Richard Constant, Gavin Anderson Tel: +44 (0)20 7554 1400


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