Walgreens says it’s selling its entire pharmacy business to Amazon
Walgreen said on Thursday it would sell its entire pharmaceutical supply chain to Amazon.
The move marks the first step towards an agreement that will create Amazon as the primary pharmacy buyer of Walgrees drugs and other products, as well as the first major step towards a potential merger.
The pharmacy chain said it would pay $10.9 billion in cash and stock to acquire the pharmacy business, which is worth $6.4 billion, and a number of other assets including its grocery stores and a pharmacy chain.
Walgreens has been working with Amazon for more than a year on the deal, which could be completed as soon as next year.
It is one of the most lucrative mergers in the world, valued at about $13.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
The deal has been in the works for a while, as Walgros recently began to focus more on the pharmacy side of its business, and the deal would be the first time Amazon has entered the pharmaceutical business.
While Amazon has not officially announced the deal publicly, the company has already announced its intent to acquire Whole Foods in an acquisition that could have as many as 1,400 pharmacy jobs.
The chain is also moving into healthcare.
The company’s pharmacy business includes more than 2,000 pharmacy services and delivery, according the statement.
The company will be renamed Walgens Pharmacy and will retain its existing brands and its signature pharmacy brand, Themeds, but will be able to sell both its own and Amazon’s own branded products, Walgos CEO Jim McDonough said in a statement.
McDonough also said that the pharmacy and wholesale services will be moved to Amazon’s Amazon Web Services cloud, and that the chain would have a more centralized online pharmacy offering, including online ordering and fulfillment.
The news came as a surprise to the pharmacy industry.
The pharmacy industry is a strong buyer of Amazon’s products, which are largely made in China and the United States, but the pharmacy sector has struggled to capture a larger share of its revenue.
For example, Walgrens drugs have not been available in Walgess pharmacy since 2014.