Bestway concludes Co-op Pharmacy

Bestway Group has taken control of the Co-operative Group’s Pharmacy business following the announcement of the £620m deal in July. The Group worked with JPMorgan and Nomura, supported by Barclays, RBS and its other relationship banks to secure the financing for the acquisition.
Bestway, which has the right to operate under The Co-operative Pharmacy brand for a transitional period of 12 months, has begun developing and testing possible new brands for the business. It expects to confirm the new name for the business before the end of first quarter 2015.
In the meantime, the Group has identified a number of possible sites in Manchester for the new HQ of the pharmacy business.
Following this (and with the Group’s subsequent acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement a week after the announcement of The Co-operative Pharmacy deal), Bestway will now have an annual turnover of approximately £3.6bn and a global workforce of 33,000 people, with over 11,900 people in the UK. It is the UK’s eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Zameer M. Choudrey, Bestway Group Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have brought The Co-operative Pharmacy business into the Bestway family, adding an exciting 4th pillar to our growing and diverse business portfolio. Since announcing the transaction, we have continued to be impressed by the business which has carried on performing strongly, operating ahead of budget. At the time, we said our approach was to support the existing management to drive the business forward, and this is precisely what we are doing, ensuring minimum disruption. To this effect, I am also delighted that this thriving business will remain based in Manchester.”

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