CASH & carry chain Bestway Group is buying the Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business for £620m. The keys will change hands in October.
The grocery chain will use the proceeds to reduce its debt and invest in its core businesses.
A transitional agreement means that the Co-operative will continue to provide some pharmacy services for up to 18 months. Bestway will be able to trade under The Co-operative Pharmacy brand for 12 months.
Family-owned Bestway, the UK’s second largest independent wholesaler, saw off competition from Lloyds Pharmacy, Alliance Boots and US buyout firm, Carlyle, to make the deal.
Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group chief executive, 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.”