Alliance Boots today announces that it has commenced a process to provide lenders under its private senior syndicated debt facilities with the option to extend the maturity dates of existing loan facilities.
The majority of these facilities currently mature shortly before the August 2015 expiry of the Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) option to proceed to a full combination with Alliance Boots (through acquiring the 55% of Alliance Boots equity not owned by Walgreens).
The extended loan facilities will have staggered maturities starting in 2016.
Prior to the launch of this process, the Group’s largest lenders have agreed to extend their existing loan facilities in full.
Alliance Boots expects the maturity extension process to be finalised before the end of 2012, including the approval of certain other requested amendments to the financing documents to facilitate the full combination of Alliance Boots with Walgreens.
Alliance Boots has appointed Deutsche Bank, UniCredit and KKR Capital Markets as arrangers for the transaction.
George Fairweather, Group Finance Director, Alliance Boots, commented: “Extending loans from key lenders at attractive rates, more than two and a half years before the majority of these mature, is in line with Alliance Boots policy of prudent and active capital management.
“Our ongoing strong financial performance, which our lenders recognise through their strong support for Alliance Boots, will enable us to further invest for the future, while at the same time continuing to reduce net borrowings.”
Notes to editors:
Alliance Boots is a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, we are committed to improving health in the local communities we serve and helping our customers and patients to look and feel their best. Our focus is on growing our two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution.
Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 116,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 11* countries and operates more than 3,330* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,200* have a pharmacy. In addition, Alliance Boots has around 625* optical practices, of which around 185* operate on a franchise basis. Our pharmaceutical wholesale businesses supply medicines, other healthcare products and related services to more than 170,000* pharmacies, doctors, health centres and hospitals from over 370* distribution centres in 21* countries.
In June 2012, Alliance Boots and Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) announced that they had entered into a strategic transaction designed to bring together the strengths and expertise of both companies to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. In August, Walgreens completed its investment to acquire a 45% equity interest in Alliance Boots, making Alliance Santé Participations S.A. (of which Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots, is a director and whose ultimate ownership is a family trust) the largest shareholder of Walgreens, with a stake it intends to hold for the long term. Walgreens has an option to proceed to a full combination, exercisable during a six month period ending on 2 August 2015, by acquiring the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots**.
* Figures are approximations as at 31 March 2012 and include associates and joint ventures.
** Excludes the Alliance Boots minority interest in Galenica, the Swiss healthcare group.
This press release may contain forward looking statements. Any such forward looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward looking statements contained in this press release. Alliance Boots does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update or revise this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any liability, including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage, of Alliance Boots relating to the information contained in this press release is expressly excluded. This press release does not purport to contain all of the information that may be required to evaluate any proposed transaction and any recipient hereof should seek its own legal, accounting and other relevant professional advice.
For further information, please contact:
Yves Romestan/Laura Vergani/Katie Johnson, Alliance Boots. Tel: +44 (0) 207 980 8585
James Murgatroyd/Katie Lang, RLMFinsbury. Tel: +44 (0) 207 251 3801