Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.

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.”

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

UCU National Executive Member Steve Sangwine of Essex picketing

University staff in Suffolk and Essex took part in the first of two planned days of strike action yesterday, in a dispute over pay.

Celebrating the launch of British Airways flights from Stansted Airport are Luke Hayhoe of BA CityFlyer (left) and Andrew Cowan of Stansted Airport with British Airways’ cabin crew Paulina Stasiak (left) and Danielle Bellini.

The first British Airways flights from Stansted Airport will get off to a flying start this weekend with all the summer sun destinations fully booked.

Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich

An empty former care home in Ipswich could be turned into 23 apartments and four bungalows, if planners give the scheme the green light.

Dave Muller speaking at the Ipswich Vision networking event hosted by the Greater Ipswich Chamber of Commerce.

Nearly 100 leaders of businesses and other organisations from in and around Ipswich have been challenged to act as ambassadors for for town.

The Keronite process in action.

Suffolk-based surface technology company Keronite has secured European Union funding to develop new wear resistant technologies for the automotive market.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24