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Lloydspharmacy confirms 'successful sale' of all community pharmacies

C+D can confirm that Lloydspharmacy, which in March was the second-largest community pharmacy multiple in the country, has exited the high street.

All 1,054 “high street and community pharmacies” once owned by Lloydspharmacy have been sold, its parent company Hallo Healthcare Group has exclusively revealed to C+D today (November 23).

As recently as March, Lloydspharmacy was the second-largest multiple in the UK.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy branch numbers dropped almost 50% in nine months

But Lloyds Pharmacy Limited (which traded as Lloydspharmacy) is no longer operating community pharmacies, the company has now confirmed.

According to Hallo Healthcare, the pharmacies were “bought individually or in regional packages” by “independent pharmacy owners and local entrepreneurs”.

Read more: UPDATED: Pharmacy2U buys LloydsDirect for undisclosed sum

It said that “over 6,500” of its former employees secured employment with the new owners of branches and added that its former patients and customers would “continue to have access to their local pharmacy”.

Its sales strategy has ensured that 99% of its branches will remain open in “over 1,000 communities”, it added.

Hallo Healthcare confirmed that it will continue to operate four healthcare-related entities, including the wholesaler AAH.

 

“Successful sale”

 

Hallo Healthcare said that the “successful sale” of the branches was a “positive outcome” at a “challenging time for the high street and community pharmacy sector”.

It followed a review of “the shape of the group to simplify operations, improve performance and ensure patients, colleagues and the communities where it operates will be best served now and for the future”, it added.

A spokesperson for Hallo Healthcare said that the group was “pleased” to have “successfully sold” its community pharmacies and that its “main priority” had been to keep branches open and to maintain employment for its colleagues.

 

What’s left?

 

The spokesperson added that the group “remains fully committed to the UK healthcare sector”.

“Whilst it may have left the high street, the Lloydspharmacy brand name and heritage remains in specialist pharmacy, clinical and digital healthcare,” they said.

The group will continue to “focus on distribution, community healthcare and specialist pharmacy”, Hallo Healthcare added.

Read more: All Sainsbury’s Lloydspharmacy branches to close by tomorrow, chain confirms

Hallo Healthcare now controls four healthcare-related entities:

  • AAH, a pharmaceutical wholesaler and distributor
  • Lloydspharmacy Healthcare Services, (trading as LP HCS Ltd), which operates in NHS hospitals, prisons, community health trusts and in the private sector
  • Lloydspharmacy Clinical Homecare, which provides home healthcare services
  • Lloydspharmacy Online Doctor

The specialist companies that make up the group operate “independently of each other”, Hallo Healthcare said.

 

“Selectively selling” all branches

 

In January, C+D revealed that Lloydspharmacy would be withdrawing from all of its 237 branches in Sainsbury’s stores at some point in the year.

In June, we exclusively revealed these closures would take effect by June 13. These pharmacies were not included in the 1,054 pharmacies announced today.

Lloydspharmacy was bought by the Aurelius Group, a German private equity firm, in 2021.

Read more: UPDATED: Lloydspharmacy ‘selectively selling’ branches to independent buyers

Since the acquisition, it has been cagey about plans for its community pharmacy branches, repeatedly saying that it was “selectively selling” its branches in response to C+D queries.

In August, C+D revealed that the rapid pace of mass sales and Sainsbury's closures in the Lloydspharmacy estate meant that the large multiple had dropped to third-largest chain in England, after Well Pharmacy.

Read more: Private equity firm Aurelius acquires Lloydspharmacy’s UK parent company in £477m deal

The multiple, which owned 1,427 UK pharmacies in March 2020, owned just 512 branches in England as of June 30.

And in October, C+D reported that LloydsDirect, Lloydspharmacy’s distance selling pharmacy, had been sold to Pharmacy2U for an undisclosed sum.

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