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Alliance Boots to acquire stake in China pharmaceutical wholesaler

  • Alliance Boots, the owner of Europe's largest pharmacy chain, is to purchase a 12 percent stake in China's Nanjing Pharmaceutical for $91 million.

    The deal was initially announced more than a year ago and is set to boost Alliance Boots' ties with China's government and regulators.

    Alliance Boots Executive Chairman Stefano Pessina is seeking a market share of 20-30 percent in the country’s pharmaceutical distribution market.

    "In 10 years, I hope we will be one of the major players in China or we will be, together with other companies, part of one of the major players in China," said Pessina.

    Alliance Boots is 45 percent owned by U.S.-based Walgreen.

    Shanghai-listed Nanjing is China's fifth-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, with sales of some $3.2 billion in 2011.