The Co-operative Group completes £620m pharmacy deal with Bestway

Catherine Neilan
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The Co-operative Pharmacy: £620m deal offloading it to Bestway completed today (Source: Getty)
The Co-operative Group has completed the sale of its pharmacy business to Bestway for £620m today, with the funds going to pay down some of the mutually-owned company's debts.
Bestway fought off competition from other suitors for the 774-strong chain including Lloyds Pharmacy, Carlyle Group and Alliance Boots, according to reports at the time.
An announcement today said the Co-operative Group had agreed to provide “certain services to the pharmacy business for up to 18 months”.
Bestway will have the right to operate under The Co-operative Pharmacy brand for a transitional period of 12 months.
The Co-operative Group has already shed its farming business, which equated to nearly 16,000 hectares of British farmland, 15 farms and more than 100 residential properties, offloading everything to the Wellcome Trust charity for £249m.
Last week the troubled business revealed it had cut its board to a “transitional” leadership team of seven, getting rid of 11 other directors, as the firm attempts to get back on track.
It comes after a year that saw its biggest-ever loss, amounting to £2.5bn for 2013, as well as a series of scandals surrounding the former chair Reverend Paul Flowers.

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