Boots cleanses itself in £140m Liz Earle deal


Holly Williams
Friday 10 July 2015 01:30 BST

The owner of the high street chemist Boots has bought the UK skincare brand Liz Earle for £140m.

Walgreens Boots Alliance – which was formed earlier this year through the mega-merger between Alliance Boots and the US pharmacy group Walgreens – snapped up Liz Earle from Avon.

The brand, a premium skincare and botanical range, was bought by Avon in March 2010 in a deal that is said to have netted the eponymous Ms Earle a multimillion-pound fortune.

The former health and beauty journalist co-founded the business in 1995 with her friend Kim Buckland, a beauty industry marketing expert, after looking for products suitable for her own, eczema-prone skin.

Based in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, Liz Earle now employs more than 600 people.

Details of the deal came as Walgreens Boots Alliance hiked full-year profit expectations as it announced third- quarter figures showing a 40 per cent leap in underlying net earnings to $1.1bn (£714m).

The group also confirmed that Stefano Pessina, its acting boss, will become chief executive on a permanent basis. The Italian businessman engineered the deal between Walgreens and Alliance Boots.

Sales across the Boots chain in the UK helped the wider group’s international retail pharmacy division to post a 3.2 per cent rise in like-for-like store sales.

Overall group sales increased by 48 per cent to $28.8bn in the three months to the end of June.

The group recently announced that it would axe 700 non-store jobs across its Boots division in the UK, as part of its objective of slashing costs by $1.5bn.

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