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Walgreens Boots Alliance, America’s biggest retail pharmacy chain, has agreed to buy a 40 per cent stake in a large Chinese drug store company as it boosts its exposure to the quickly growing emerging market.

The Illinois-based company said on Wednesday that it has become a minority investor in Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores, the retail pharmacy platform of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm).

Walgreens said that it acquired the stake through a capital increase by GuoDa worth Rmb2.767bn (about $416m).

GuoDa, launched in 2004, operates more than 3,500 retail pharmacies in about 70 cities and employs almost 20,000 people.

“We are very pleased to become a strategic investor in GuoDa. It is China’s leading pharmacy chain and we believe that we can positively contribute to its continued successful development with our global pharmacy expertise,” said Walgreens chief executive Stefano Pessina.

Photo: Bloomberg

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