Walgreens makes $970 million investment in specialty pharmacy company Shields Health

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FILE PHOTO: People are inoculated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Walgreens store in Chicago

(Reuters) - Walgreens Boots Alliance is spending roughly $970 million to acquire a majority stake in Shields Health Solutions to expand its specialty pharmacy business, the companies said on Tuesday.

The investment brings Walgreens' total stake in Shield to 71%, and the company has an option to acquire the remaining equity interests in the future. The Illinois-based company had taken a minority stake in Shields in 2019.

Founded in 2012, Shields Health Solutions helps hospitals provide specialty pharmacy services.

Specialty pharmacies are designed to deliver medications with unique handling, storage and distribution requirements, often for patients with complex conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

"We're continuing to make strategic investments in pharmacy and healthcare solutions that can build on our core pharmacy business... The Shields model has shown to improve patient care, and will be complementary to our existing specialty pharmacy offering," Chief Executive Officer Roz Brewer said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the fiscal second quarter of 2022 and is projected to be modestly accretive in the first full year after completion.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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