Alliance Boots Acquires Turkey’s Hedef

(Reuters) – Alliance Boots, the pharmacy group bought in Europe’s biggest leveraged deal, has taken control of Turkish drugs wholesaler Hedef Alliance to boost its expansion in the Middle East and Africa.

The British-based group said on Monday it had lifted its stake in Hedef Alliance to 60 percent from 50 percent and would increase it further over the next two years.

Hedef Alliance’s founder, Ethem Sancak, will remain as executive chairman of the business, with an increased personal stake, it added.

Alliance Boots, which runs wholesale operations in 16 countries and pharmacies in nine, declined to give further details on the deal.

Hedef Alliance has about one third of the fast-growing Turkish pharmaceuticals market, which is benefiting from an increasing population and an extension of state health insurance.

It also has a controlling 50 percent stake in Egyptian drugs wholesaler United Company of Pharmacists and an associate interest in Hydrapharm, the largest wholesaler in Algeria.

Alliance Boots was bought in 2007 by private equity firm KKR KKR.UL and executive chairman Stefano Pessina in a deal worth about 11 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Louise Heavens)