The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved Celesio’s £125m acquisition of 281 Sainsbury pharmacies, all of which will be rebranded as Lloydspharmacy. Sainsbury’s 2,700 pharmacy employees will transfer to Lloydspharmacy under TUPE.
The CMA has identified 12 geographic areas where the acquisition of Sainsbury’s pharmacies may be expected to result in a lessening of competition. As a result, Celesio will be “working over the coming months to remedy the situation and ensure that LloydsPharmacy colleagues in the affected areas are supported during the transition”. This will necessitate the sale of some pharmacies.
Cormac Tobin, managing director of LloydsPharmacy and Celesio UK, said: “Sainsbury’s is a leading UK retailer, which has created an attractive pharmacy business. As a specialist pharmacy operator we can build on this strong foundation to offer Sainsbury’s customers a more enhanced health offering. We also gain access to new customer groups and to new locations where LloydsPharmacy’s physical bricks and mortar presence is not currently as strong.
“This strategic partnership means that our customers will benefit from accessible parking, extended opening hours and convenient locations, and we are pleased to be offering Sainsbury’s customers our specialist pharmacy services.”