Walgreens invests US$970M to grab controlling stake in Shields Health Company

USA – Walgreens Boots Alliance, a global leader in retail pharmacy, has committed approximately US$970 million to acquire a majority stake in Shields Health Solutions to expand its specialty pharmacy business.

The investment brings Walgreens’ total stake in Shield to 71%, and the company has an option to acquire the remaining equity interests in the future. The Illinois-based company had taken a minority stake in Shields in 2019.

Founded in 2012, Shields Health Solutions helps hospitals provide specialty pharmacy services. Specialty pharmacies are designed to deliver medications with unique handling, storage and distribution requirements, often for patients with complex conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

We’re continuing to make strategic investments in pharmacy and healthcare solutions that can build on our core pharmacy business. The Shields model has shown to improve patient care, and will be complementary to our existing specialty pharmacy offering,” Walgreens Chief Executive Officer Roz Brewer said in a statement.

Over the last two years, Shields has rapidly expanded its platform, representing more than 1 million specialty patients across more than 30 disease states, with more than 70 health system partners nationwide.

Shields pioneered the integrated, health system specialty pharmacy approach that has quickly gained traction in the industry. In doing so, we have consistently delivered exceptional growth and value through a model that research shows leads to better outcomes and quality of life,” said Lee Cooper, CEO, Shields Health Solutions.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the fiscal second quarter of 2022 and is projected to be modestly accretive in the first full year after completion.

Following the completion of the majority investment, Shields will continue to operate as it does today, managed under current executive leadership and as a distinct brand and entity.

The companies will also explore opportunities to scale the Shields business model by adding complementary provider-based services to the portfolio over time.

With more than 170 years of trusted healthcare heritage and innovation in community pharmacy, Walgreens has a presence in more than 25 countries, employs more than 450,000 people and has more than 21,000 stores.

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