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Walgreens Boots Alliance and McKesson Corp. have signed an agreement to create a joint venture that will combine their respective pharmaceutical wholesale businesses in Germany, Alliance Healthcare Deutschland and GEHE Pharma Handel. Deerfield-based WBA will have a 70% controlling equity interest in the joint venture and McKesson will have a 30% ownership interest.

The new joint venture is expected to enhance the ability to compete and deliver high customer satisfaction through new services and operational excellence, ultimately advancing patient-centric solutions. In addition, the combined business intends to deliver efficient distribution solutions, and drive greater economies of scale, stimulating the competitiveness of the German pharmaceutical wholesale market.

The transaction does not include any other WBA or McKesson businesses outside of the German wholesale activities.

“Combining our wholesale operations is the right decision to secure the long-term success of both businesses,” WBA Co-COO Ornella Barra said in a statement. “This is a strategic step that will offer benefits for all. We are creating a sustainable company to drive success for our customers and the German healthcare system.”

McKesson Europe Board Chairman Kevin Kettler added: “We are excited to join forces with Walgreens Boots Alliance, and through this strategic partnership we are securing the future of pharmaceutical distribution in the German market. This transaction provides a unique opportunity to drive operational success in a complex environment.”

Both companies will have a proportional representation on the joint venture’s supervisory board. The transaction is subject to merger clearance and approval by the customary authorities. This process is expected to take at least six months. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Walgreens Boots Alliance and the companies in which it has equity method investments together have a presence in more than 25 countries and employ more than 415,000 people.