Walgreens Boots Alliance’s (WBA) CEO Stefano Pessina on Q3 2016
Rite Aid acquisition progressing as planned
“Our proposed acquisition of Rite Aid is progressing as planned. As you know, we are in the process of seeking a regulatory approval in parallel our integration team is continuing its work on preliminary planning. In June, we completed a $6 billion public bond offering to support the funding of the acquisition.”
UK referendum has created volatility
“Since the quarter end as you are seeing the U.K. referendum on Europe has created some uncertainty and volatility in our market. Our businesses and management teams have operated through main business cycles in many markets. Perhaps changes normal and the sign of life. We work with and manage it every day. Less volatility and uncertainty create issues that would be overcome, but they also provide opportunity for our company. It is our job to ensure that we meet these opportunities positively and position and structure our company to its best advantage.”
We are expecting RAD deal to go through
“we would have a lot of ideas, but I can assure you that we are for the time being we are not taking into consideration because we are very confident that at the end of this deal we will go through. It takes some time, but we knew it. It is normal of this kind of deals which is a complex deal at the end of the day is normal for this kind of deals to take months and months. So I would say that we are on track.”
“we are also upscaling our people. For example, we’re through with a lot of differentiation. We are putting in place a number of beauty consultants in our top 2000 stores who have got deeper expertise and more knowledge and more ability to take care and drive up sales appropriately with customers. That’s another investment we’re making in labor cost in our stores but with a very clear return on our investment. So, we are feeling good about where we are on these two investments.”
Too early to say on the impact of Brexit
“Very, very difficult to say. The situation is very volatile at this time. For sure, the period of uncertainty will be quite long whatever happens because even if the U.K. will leave the Euro, it cannot happen overnight, it will take at least two years. And the consequence of it will be much longer than two years.
So, I believe that once the emotional impact is gone, things will settle down and we will have an idea of what is happening, but for now really — it’s really too early, too soon we have seen in the stores days — very good days, bad. So in a few months probably we will be able to say something.”
Demographics driving Med D growth
No. I just think that the market is growing through the aging population. So that’s why med-D is the fastest growing channel as is all of that people are putting together more comparative offers both in terms of price, but also in terms of care and performance. And that comes as well. So I think that’s the driving, is really the market has been driven always by the customer and it’s a growth market.