US-based retail holdings company Walgreens Boots Alliance has completed the acquisition of a 40% minority stake in China-based retail pharmacy chain Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drugstores (GuoDa) for $416m.

The deal was signed with China National Accord Medicines, the parent company of GuoDa, in December, and Walgreens Boots Alliance would account for the stake as an equity method investment.

GuoDa currently operates more than 3,800 retail pharmacies in 70 cities across 19 provinces and other regions in China. It employs around 20,000 people to serve customers.

Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said: “We are delighted that we have received regulatory approvals and our investment agreement has now been completed.

“We believe GuoDa holds a strong position in the sector, and as a global pharmacy-led health and beauty enterprise, we are well-positioned to support its further growth ambition.

“We believe there is great potential in working together to play a transforming role in the evolving Chinese retail pharmacy market.”

“We are looking forward to sharing our international best practices and pharmacy expertise.

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“We believe there is great potential in working together to play a transforming role in the evolving Chinese retail pharmacy market.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance is a retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the US and Europe.

The company currently has a presence in more than 25 countries and employs around 385,000 people. It operates more than 13,200 stores in 11 countries and 390 distribution centres globally.

Retail and business brands operated by the company include Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots, and Alliance Healthcare.