Bestway Group acquires Co-operative Pharmacy Business

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(London) – Bestway Group (“Bestway”) and The Co-operative Group (“Co-op”) have announced that they have acquired Co-op’s Pharmacy business for a purchase price of £620 million*. The transaction is due to complete in October 2014, following final separation of the Pharmacy business from Co-op.
Speaking about the deal, Zameer Chaudhary Chief Executive of the Bestway group said, “We are delighted to be bringing The Co-operative Pharmacy business into our Group, adding to our growing and diverse business portfolio. In line with our own ethos, there is a strong focus on supporting and interacting with local communities within this sector.”
The agreement follows a competitive sale process initiated by Co-op and Bestway saw off competition from the likes of Lloyds Pharmacy, Alliance Boots and Carlyle, the US buyout firm. The sale process came about following a decision by Co-op that the Pharmacy business was not part of its future strategy. The net proceeds will be used to reduce Co-op group debt and the transaction will enable Co-op to focus strategically on its core Retail and Consumer Services Divisions.
Bestway is the UK’s eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business. Bestway includes the UK’s second largest independent wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space offering a product range of over 25,000 items. Bestway’s retail club business is the largest in the UK with over 4,000 members.
Bestway’s Cement division is Pakistan’s second largest cement manufacturer with an annual capacity of 6 million tonnes. Bestway’s banking division is Pakistan’s second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
Bestway has built up a successful global business over 40 years by investing in and connecting with the communities it serves. The philanthropic arm of the group, the Bestway Foundation, annually donates 2.5 per cent of its post-tax profits to social projects in the countries in which it operates.
With this acquisition, Bestway will have an annual turnover of approximately £3.4 billion and a global workforce of more than 32,600 people, with over 11,900 people in the UK.
Rothschild and UBS acted as financial advisers to The Co-operative Group in this transaction, with Addleshaw Goddard and Allen & Overy acting as principal legal advisors to The Co-operative Group.

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