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Alliance Boots Buys $91 Million Stake in Chinese Drug Wholesaler

Alliance Boots GmbH, the largest U.K. drugstore chain, will buy a 12 percent stake in China’s Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. for about 56 million pounds ($91 million), it said in a statement today.

Alliance Boots will become the second-largest shareholder as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies. Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company is the fifth-biggest drugs wholesaler in China with sales of 2 billion pounds last year, Boots said in the announcement.

The deal will allow the Nanjing, China-based company to “improve its management practices, achieve greater performance, and help China’s medical industry reach global standards,” said its chairman, Zhou Yaoping.

Walgreen Co., the biggest U.S. drugstore operator, said in June it agreed to buy 45 percent of Alliance Boots from owners including private-equity firm KKR & Co. and Alliance Boots Chairman Stefano Pessina.

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