Alliance Boots is an international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group. It has two core business activities - pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing, and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution - and has a presence in more than 20 countries. It has revenue in excess of £22.5 billion. It was formed in 2006 through a merger of the listed British high street pharmacist Boots Group and the pan-European wholesale and retail pharmacy group Alliance UniChem. Alliance Boots was initially a British plc listed on the London Stock Exchange. In 2007 it was bought out in a private equity transaction. In 2008 the trading business was transferred to a Swiss GmbH, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of a British company, AB Acquisitions Holdings Limited, which is owned by the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and the Italian businessman Stefano Pessina, who built Alliance UniChem and is now the executive chairman of Alliance Boots.
The Group's operations are mainly carried out under the Boots and Alliance Healthcare brands. Boots UK is the UK's leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. Alliance Boots is also the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in the UK through its Alliance Healthcare (Distribution) Ltd business.
Alliance Boots has its registered office in Zug, Switzerland, so people like me who are of an age to associate Boots with the fair city of Nottingham are sadly out of date.
Boots operate more than 3,000 retail promises in UK.
Stefano Pessina was appointed Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots in July 2007 having previously been its Executive Deputy Chairman. Prior to the merger of Alliance UniChem and Boots Group he was Executive Deputy Chairman of Alliance UniChem, before that having been its Chief Executive for three years up until December 2004. Stefano was appointed to the Alliance UniChem board in 1997 when UniChem merged with Alliance Santé, the Franco-Italian pharmaceutical wholesale group which he established in Italy in 1977. He is an engineer by profession.
Pessina is unknown to the public in his native Italy, having long since left to live in the tax haven of Monaco.
On 18th October, despite it having nothing whatsoever to do with an Italian who lives in Monaco, Stefano Pessina signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.
For this reason Stefano is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Alliance Boots, through it Boots The Chemist chain of pharmacies.
You can get everything you need from a Lloyds Pharmacy or a pharmacy in one of the larger supermarkets.