In July 2014 Bestway Group once again entered into a new sector, continuing its rigorous diversification strategy, when the Group acquired The Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business for £620 million.
The business, formerly known as The Co-operative Pharmacy, was rebranded Well in February 2015.
Well is the third largest pharmacy business in the UK, and the largest in Wales. It has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees. In 2013 it reported total revenues of £760 million and operating profit of £33 million.
The agreement followed a competitive sale process initiated by The Co-operative Group. Bestway saw off competition from the likes of Lloyds Pharmacy, Alliance Boots and Carlyle, the US buyout firm.
The Group worked with JPMorgan and Nomura, supported by Barclays, RBS and its other relationship banks to secure the financing for the acquisition. In the end, despite being a first-time issuer, the Group Corporate Facility of £725m was well received by the market, with Bestway’s credit being significantly oversubscribed. This demonstrated the City’s enthusiasm, trust and confidence in the Group and its strong prospects for long-term, profitable growth.
The acquisition increased Bestway Group turnover to £3.4 billion and grew the global workforce to more than 33,600 people, with over 11,900 of those employed in the UK.
Find out more at the Well website.