Alliance Boots PLC said Monday it formed an equal joint venture with Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corp. to create a pharmaceutical wholesaling operation in China.
GP Corp. is China's third-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler nationally with a 3 percent market share, and the leading distributor in Guangdong province with 16 percent of the market.
The state controls the majority of shares in GP Corp., which is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. It reported revenue of around 425 million pounds (euro645 million; US$835 million) in 2005.
"China is an exciting and important market for us to enter," said Stefano Pessina, executive deputy chairman of Alliance Boots.
The joint venture is conditional on approval by GP Corp.'s shareholders and regulators.
Alliance Boots, based in Britain, has retail operations in seven European countries and Thailand. Its wholesale operations in Europe serve more than 125,000 pharmacies, hospitals and health centers.
On the Net: