Chile’s Farmacias Ahumada Almost Doubles on Alliance Boots Deal

Farmacias Ahumada SA, Chile’s second-biggest pharmacy chain, surged the most in 16 years after Alliance Boots Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy its outstanding shares as part of a takeover of Latin American drugstores.

The shares rallied 79 percent to 195 pesos at 12:30 p.m. in Santiago, the biggest increase since December 1997. Farmacias Ahumada, which is controlled by Mexico City-based Grupo Casa Saba SAB, has more than 1,400 stores in Chile and Mexico and also holds an exclusive franchise license for GNC Holdings Inc. stores in Chile and Brazil.

Nottingham, U.K.-based Alliance Boots, owned by Walgreen Co. and KKR & Co., will pay 8.3 billion Mexican pesos ($637 million) for Casa Saba’s retail pharmacy business, according to a statement today. The transaction will entail a tender offer for Farmacias Ahumada’s publicly traded shares.

Casa Saba said in the statement that the sale will help solve its “recent liquidity issues.” The deal is scheduled to close in the third quarter.

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