Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

09:52 18 July 2014

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

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.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

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

The Suffolk Coastal District Council offices at Melton Hill have been sold for re-development, subject to planning permission being granted

Former Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill offices are sold for re-development

Becky Sebright-King, owner of Lady Bakewell Park, at the launch of Small Business Saturday 2016.

As the Christmas shopping season gets into full swing, it’s more important than ever to support our local traders.

The Octagon  in Colchester, where travel management company Gray Dawes is based.

Essex-based travel management group Gray Dawes is to double in size following the simultaneous completion of two acquisitions.

The Rev Jemma Sander-Heys pulls a pint of Lacons Christmas beer, St Nicks.
Photo: Lacons Brewery

Regional drinks supplier Lacons has hosted is annual Winter Gathering to mark the launch of St Nick’s, its craft ale brewed specially for the festive season.

Go Ape tree-top adventure. Picture: GO APE.

Outdoor adventure firm Go Ape has picked up a national award in recognition of rapid growth which has seen it expand across the country.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24