Sainsbury's sells pharmacy business

Thu, 30 Jul 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

Sainsbury's has sold its pharmacy business in a deal valued at £125 million.

The supermarket has sold its 281 pharmacies to Celesio, the owner of Lloyds Pharmacy chain.

Once the details of the transaction have been ironed out, Lloyds will step in and rent out the pharmacies in Sainsbury's. They will run the 277 in-store points and the four hospital locations, with all 2,500 Sainsbury's pharmacy staff transferring to Lloyds.

Chief executive of Sainsbury's, Mike Coup, commented on the business sale: “Working together with a specialist operator like Lloyds Pharmacy will enable us to grow and extend our pharmacy services to customers, whilst realising value for shareholders today from the pharmacy business we have grown organically over the last 20 years.”

The deal comes just a week after Sainsbury's raised £500 million through bond issues and has sparked further speculation that the company might be looking to buy out a chain or group of stores to expand its convenience store brand, Sainsbury's Local, or Netto, its discount joint venture.

Celesio AG chairman Marc Owen said that the sale is also an “important milestone” for Celesio as the company continues to “invest in Lloyds Pharmacy and our collaboration with Sainsbury's will help to improve the health and wellness of our mutual customers”.

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