In a move aimed at turning the company into a truly global business, Alliance Boots has struck a partnership with US pharmacy Walgreens. Initially Walgreens will invest $6.7bn in cash and stock, which will give the company a 45% stake in Alliance Boots. The deal is planned to go through by September 2012, with an option for Walgreens to buy the remaining 55% in three years' time.
As the drugstore market becomes more competitive and saturated in local markets, leading US drugstore retailers Walgreen and CVS are completing acquisitions as their fastest routes to growth and to compete more effectively with non-specialists. This will undoubtedly lead to consumers benefiting from lower prices.
The idea of The Body Shop being bought out by an international cosmetic company would have been unthinkable a few years ago. However times and consumer trends move on, and the ethical and natural credentials of the beauty retailer make it a strong proposition in today's market. Now, with L'Oreal's resources and marketing expertise behind it, The Body Shop looks set become a major global brand.
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