LONDON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- British high street pharmacy chain Alliance Boots announced on Wednesday it is to be bought up by American pharmacy giant Walgreens.
The full combination would establish the world's largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution network with more than 370 distribution centers delivering to more than 180,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals in 20 countries.
Walgreens bought a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots in 2012 and now intends to buy the remaining 55 percent stake.
The combined enterprise will be named Walgreens Boots Alliance and headquartered in the Chicago area. Boots will continue to be headquartered in Nottingham and the current support offices of Alliance Healthcare will remain across Europe.
The transaction was expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar 2015, subject to shareholder and various regulatory approvals.
"We are excited to move forward with the next important step in becoming a new kind of global healthcare leader," Greg Wasson, President and CEO of Walgreens, said in a statement. "Expanding globally with Alliance Boots will make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to communities here in America and around the world."
Boots was established in 1849, by John Boot. In 2006, The Boots Company Plc merged with Alliance UniChem Plc to form Alliance Boots. In 2012, Walgreens bought a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots.