LONDON — Alliance Boots said Tuesday that Walgreen Co.’s acquisition of the remaining 55 percent of the health and beauty group that it didn’t already own is expected to close Dec. 31, subject to shareholder approval.
This story first appeared in the December 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As reported, Walgreens’ shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal at a meeting in New York on Monday.
Alliance Boots noted that among the items shareholders will be asked to vote on are the establishment of Walgreens Boots Alliance as the new publicly traded holding company of the combined enterprise and the issue of Walgreens Boots Alliance shares.
Alliance Boots said that the transaction “will fully combine the two companies to form the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise.”
Last week, ahead of the closure of the deal, Greg Wasson, president and chief executive officer at Walgreens, said he was retiring from that role. Following the close of the deal and Wasson’s departure, James Skinner, chairman of Walgreens, will become executive chairman. Meanwhile, Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots and a Walgreens board member, will become acting ceo.
Tuesday, delivering his final Walgreens quarterly results, Wasson noted traffic in comparable stores for the quarter, ended Nov. 30, was off 2.7 percent, but basket size rose 4.2 percent. Among the efforts on the front end are the addition of more Boots beauty products and high-end skin care such as Vichy.
Net income jumped 16.4 percent to $809 million, or 85 cents a diluted share, from $695 million, or 72 cents, a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share was 81 cents.
Sales rose 6.7 percent to $19.6 billion from $18.3 billion a year ago. Comparable-stores sales increased 1.5 percent.
Walgreens’ executives called holiday “strong” and said that upscale retail products and the elimination of unprofitable promotions are boosting margins. Employees also are more available to support and serve customers because they spend less time with housekeeping duties such as hanging discount signs, the company said.