Walgreens CEO says no plans to sell specialty pharmacy unit

by | Mar 4, 2024 | Business

(Reuters) -Walgreens Boots Alliance’s CEO rejected a media report, saying the company does not plan to sell specialty pharmacy unit Shields Health Solutions at least for now

The pharmacy chain is instead looking for ways to drive “the most value” for the business, CEO Timothy Wentworth said at a conference on Monday.

Bloomberg News reported in January that Walgreens was exploring a sale of the unit.

“Shield is a terrific asset, and I love the fact that we’ve got it. And so from that standpoint, whatever you may have read, don’t believe it. We are not announcing we’re selling Shields,” Wentworth said.

Shares of the company were down 2% in early trading.

They have fallen 11.4% since Walgreens nearly halved its dividend payout in January in an attempt to conserve cash as it sought to win back market share from rivals and expand beyond pharmacies.

Walgreens bought the remaining stake in Shields for $1.37 billion in 2022, after spending $970 million to increase its stake in the company to 71% in the prior year.

Specialty pharmacies sell medications that require extreme care in handling, storage and distribution, often for patients with complex conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D’Silva)


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