Boots sets its sights on China

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The Independent Online

The group behind the Boots high-street chain is set to unveil fresh plans for global domination this week, to coincide with its delivery of another sharp uplift in annual profit.

Alliance Boots is particularly keen to expand in China, following the retailer and pharmaceutical wholesaler's landmark $16bn (£10.4bn) deal with the US giant Walgreens last year.

Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, is seeking more deals in China after buying a stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical, in 2012. Alliance Boots is set to post double-digit growth in underlying profit for the year to March, having boasted a bottom-line of £693m in 2011-12. Walgreens acquired 45 per cent of Alliance Boots for $6.5bn from management and private equity firm KKR last year, and is expected to buy the rest in two years' time.