Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Retail: Co-operative Group sells pharmacy business to Bestway for £620m

09:52 18 July 2014

A branch of the Co-operative Group

A branch of the Co-operative Group's pharmacy business which has been sold to Bestway in a deal valued at £620m.

Archant

The Co-operative Group has sold its pharmacy stores for £620million in a deal with the company behind convenience shop brand Best-one.

shares

The struggling mutual will use the proceeds from Bestway Group’s purchase of Britain’s third largest pharmacy chain on paying down debt.

Bestway, which is the UK’s seventh largest family-owned business, will have the right to operate under the Co-operative Pharmacy brand for a transitional period of 12 months, once the deal completes later this year.

The pharmacy business has more than 770 branches in the UK with 7,000 staff, and last year generated revenues of £760m and profits of £33m.

It was put up for sale in February by then Co-op chief executive Euan Sutherland as it was not considered a core part of the business.

The business has a substantial presence in East Anglia, including three pharmacies in Lowestoft and others in Carlton Colville, Diss, Halstead, Haverhill and Saffron Walden.

However, the deal does not cover the eight pharmacy stores operated in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Saxmundham and Stowmarket by the East of England Co-operative Society which is a separate organisation from the Co-operative Group and continues to trade successfully.

Bestway’s wholesale business is the second largest in the UK with annual sales of more than £2.4billion, serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses. Its retail club business has more than 4,000 members consisting of 1,113 Best-one stores and 2,895 Xtra Local retailers.

Founded more than 40 years ago by Sir Anwar Pervez, the business is the second largest cement manufacturer in Pakistan, where it also has a substantial bank branch network.

Following the pharmacy acquisition, Bestway will have annual turnover of around £3.4bn and a workforce of more than 32,600 people, including 11,900 in the UK.

Chief executive Zameer Choudrey said there was potential to grow the pharmacy business organically and through future acquisitions.

He added: “The Co-operative Pharmacy is a strong, competitive business, operating in a sector where demographic trends show an increasing demand for healthcare services amongst the wider community.”

Besides foods stores, other businesses in the Co-op Group include funeralcare, legal services, travel and general insurance. Its banking arm, which is now under the control of bondholders as part of a refinancing to fill a £1.5bn hole in its balance sheet, drove the group to an overall loss of £2.5bn for the last year.

Interim chief executive Richard Pennycook said the deal would enable the group to invest in its core retail and consumer-facing businesses.

He added: “Bestway is acquiring an excellent pharmacy business characterised by the quality and professionalism of colleagues and high levels of customer service.

“Bestway in return is an ideal owner, being a strong family-run group with a proven track-record of putting the needs of customers first.”

shares

1 comment

  • Just so that everyone knows, Bestway donate money to the Tory Party !, even more money for the wealthy tory shareholders !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Benefit cheat in court

An Ipswich benefit cheat has been spared prison after she fiddled more than £15,000 in false claims over 29 months.

Dancers preparing for Inspire Suffolk's Strictly event.

Inspire Suffolk has teamed up with Ipswich School of Dancing to train 10 local amateur dancers in preparation for a Strictly Come Dancing-style fundraising event in July.

Drink-drivers in court

A two-time drink-driver who crashed into the rear of another car while more than twice the limit has lost his licence.

A BMW X1

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were spent on luxury cars for managers by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in the past year, it has emerged.

Gemma Grace, from Ipswich, speaks about living with autism.

Autism is not an illness, it is just a different way of seeing the world.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A nuisance neighbour who even kept ducks in her house has been given 14 days to get out of her east Ipswich home by the town’s magistrates.

The scene of a fight at Barclays Bank in Ipswich - photos Jess Portway

Frightened staff and customers at an Ipswich town centre bank locked themselves in offices during a violent brawl between two groups of men from rival Romanian families, a court has heard.

Two teenagers have been arrested following the death of a 14 year old boy after an incident at an address in Thurston.

Friends of a 13-year-old schoolboy from Thurston who died after being shot with an air rifle have paid tribute.

Runners of all ages got together in Bank Holiday Monday for the Felixstowe fun run.

Hundreds of eager runners gathered along the Felixstowe seafront this morning in their best fancy dress for the annual Rotary Club of Felixstowe Fun Run.

Celebrations at Holbrook academy after funding has been granted for new roof 
Nat Reid, loïs graham Iain Bramhill of ingleton wood, Simon Letman head teacher South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge,  Howard Sheldon Ingelton Wood, sydnee Nicholas, Maddie holland. 
Nathan Waller, zander Simpson alek pawlewski, Marcus Jones.

Fourteen schools and academies across Suffolk are celebrating receiving a sizeable funding boost from the government for urgent repairs.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24