Endgame approaches as bidders fight for Co-op pharmacy chain

Co-operative pharmacy was founded in 1945, and is the third-largest chemist in the UK
The sale of Co-op’s chemist business may be nearing its conclusion as several big bidders compete to be chosen as the winner of the long-running disposal.

The Co-op group, which is also selling its farms business, is selling its chemist chain, including over 700 pharmacies employing around 6,500 staff. An outcome is likely in a few weeks.

The firm is trying to recover from huge losses last year of £2.5bn. Management dubbed it a “disastrous year”, with the worst results in its 150-year history.

The bidders for the Co-op pharmacy business include Lloyds Pharmacy and Carlyle Group, with Alliance Boots and one other unnamed firm in contention, according to the Sunday Times.

Russ Brady, head of Co-op group public relations, stated: “We have had a strong level of interest, which reflects the quality of the business and we are now at an advanced stage of the bidding process.”

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