The government's competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), gave the green light to the planned takeover of Sainsbury’s pharmacy business last week (July 29) – under the condition that Lloydspharmacy sells branches in 12 areas of England and Wales.
Gareth Owen, head of corporate development and strategy at Celesio UK, confirmed to C+D on Wednesday (August 9) that 12 branches are now officially on the market, “plus two others in specified areas”.
Property advisor Christie & Co told C&D today (August 11) that it has been instructed by Celesio UK to sell the following 14 Lloydspharmacy branches:
- Market Square, Sandy (two pharmacies)
- Rice Lane, Liverpool
- Bramingham Park Centre, Luton
- The Highway, Beaconsfield
- Saxon Centre, Kempston
- The Green, Warlingham
- Garden City, Kidlington
- Lymington Road, Highcliffe, Christchurch (two pharmacies)
- The Avenue, Alwoodley, Leeds
- Birch Hill, Bracknell
- High Street, Theale
- Station Road, Llanishen, Cardiff
"Areas of concern"
In its final report the CMA identified 12 areas across England and Wales where the deal could significantly impact on patient choice.
Celesio UK has added two additional Lloydspharmacy sites – in Christchurch and Sandy – to the list, which Mr Owen said was business as usual for the multiple.
“We buy and sell pharmacies on a regular basis and these two sites have been included as part of our programme," he told C+D.
Number of interested parties
Mr Owen said Celesio UK had received “interest from a number of potential buyers” since the pharmacies were put on the market.
“This is not about closing stores, but about who should own or operate them,” he said.
As part of the £125 million deal, Celesio UK will acquire all of Sainsbury’s 277 pharmacies, and four hospital pharmacies.
The company looks forward to welcoming “over 2,700” Sainsbury’s employees on September 1, 2016, a spokesperson said.