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Sainsbury’s and Celesio form pharmacy partnership

J Sainsbury Plc (Sainsbury’s) and Celesio AG, owner of Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd (LloydsPharmacy), today announce the formation of a strategic partnership that will see LloydsPharmacy acquire Sainsbury’s pharmacy business for £125m.

In addition, Sainsbury’s will receive commercial annual rent payments from LloydsPharmacy for each location.

Sainsbury’s and LloydsPharmacy customers will benefit from an enhanced pharmacy service delivered from Sainsbury’s stores with all the benefits of accessible parking, flexible opening hours and convenient locations.

Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Pharmacy services are incredibly popular with Sainsbury’s customers and we are delighted to be teaming up with LloydsPharmacy to develop our offer. Working together with a specialist operator like LloydsPharmacy will enable us to grow and extend our pharmacy services to customers, whilst realising value for shareholders today from the pharmacy business we have grown organically over the last 20 years.”

LloydsPharmacy is the country’s second biggest retail pharmacy operator with more than 1,500 stores across the UK. The company takes a service-led approach to community pharmacy aiming to improve access to healthcare while alleviating pressure on GPs.

Cormac Tobin, managing director of LloydsPharmacy and Celesio UK, said: “Sainsbury’s is a fantastic fit for LloydsPharmacy. We are both passionate about excellent customer service and making a positive impact on the communities we serve. Health is our focus and over recent years we have developed a range of services to make it easier for people to manage their health, such as our pain management and skin health services, and we look forward to making these even more accessible via the Sainsbury’s network.”

Under the terms of the transaction, LloydsPharmacy has agreed to acquire 281 pharmacies in total, including 277 in store pharmacies and four located in hospitals, all of which will be rebranded as LloydsPharmacy.

As part of the Partnership Agreement approximately up to 2,500 Sainsbury’s pharmacy colleagues will transfer to LloydsPharmacy under TUPE.

The deal is expected to complete by the end of February next year, subject to regulatory conditions being satisfied.

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