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WBA becomes stakeholder in PharMerica

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is now a stakeholder in national specialty pharmacy operator PharMerica Corp.

PharMerica on Wednesday announced the close of its acquisition by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). Under the $1.4 billion deal, unveiled in early August, WBA holds a minority share in PharMerica.

Louisville, Ky.-based PharMerica serves the long-term care, hospital pharmacy management services, specialty home infusion and oncology pharmacy markets. It operates 96 institutional pharmacies, 20 specialty home infusion pharmacies and five specialty oncology pharmacies in 45 states.

PharMerica’s customers include institutional health providers, such as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals, people receiving in-home care and cancer patients.

“This is an opportunity to expand into a growing segment and to do so through a national footprint,” WBA co-chief operating officer Alex Gourlay stated when the KKR-PharMerica deal was announced. “As the health care landscape and patients’ needs continue to change, this is another way we can support quality, affordable patient care.”

With the completion of the all-cash transaction, PharMerica becomes a private company. Its common stock will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange before its opening on Dec. 8. PharMerica shareholders voted in favor of the acquisition in early November.

“With the support of KKR and a strategic partner in Walgreens Boots Alliance, PharMerica will have additional resources and expertise to advance and grow the business. We look forward to the completion of the transaction and to achieving the meaningful benefits of this complementary relationship,” Gregory Weishar, chief executive officer of PharMerica, commented when the agreement was announced.

“PharMerica is an innovative leader in the institutional pharmacy industry,” Jim Momtazee, the head of KKR’s health care investment team, stated at the time. “KKR and Walgreens Boots Alliance are excited to partner with PharMerica’s management and employees to build upon the company’s successful foundations and accelerate its future growth.”

KKR had been a stakeholder in WBA but sold its remaining interest in the company in late 2016. WBA had issued approximately 52.46 million shares to KKR affiliates in connection with the Walgreens-Alliance Boots merger, which closed at the end of 2014. Dominic Murphy, a member of KKR and the head its United Kingdom operations and European health care industry team, had joined the Walgreens board when the drug chain finalized the first part of the merger transaction with Alliance Boots in August 2012.


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