Alliance UniChem

Alliance Healthcare
Industry Pharmaceutical, surgical, medical and healthcare
Founded November 1997 (as Alliance UniChem)
Area served Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland
Key people Jeremy Main (Managing Director)
Owner(s) Alliance Boots

Alliance Healthcare, formerly Alliance UniChem, wholesales, distributes, and retails pharmaceutical, surgical, medical, and healthcare products throughout Europe. The company serves pharmacies and other healthcare customers, and its retail pharmacy division operates pharmacies in the United Kingdom, Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alliance Boots, which was formed by the merger of the Boots Group and Alliance UniChem on 31 July 2006. Alliance UniChem was rebranded Alliance Healthcare in 2009.


Stefano Pessina founded Alleanza Salute Italia in 1977 under the name of Alleanza Farmaceutica, which expanded to form Alliance Santè SA. In November 1997, Alliance Santè SA merged with UniChem PLC to form Alliance UniChem. The combined business became one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in Europe. In 1998 it purchased a majority stake in the Spanish pharmaceutical wholesaler Grupo Safa.

In 1999, Alliance UniChem entered into a partnership with Galenica AG of Switzerland, and created the Alliance Farmacie business in Italy. Plus s.r.o. and Pragopharm s.r.o. of the Czech Republic were purchased that year, and Alliance Santè and UniChem's Portuguese subsidiaries merged to form Alliance UniChem Farmacêutica S.A.

The company purchased the Dutch firms Interpharm and De Vier Vijzels in 2000. In 2001 the company entered into a strategic wholesale pharmaceutical partnership with the Turkish company Hedef Holding. In 2002, Alliance UniChem bought the Norwegian pharmaceutical wholesaler Holtung. The company entered the FTSE 100 index that year.

In 2003, Alliance UniChem bought a 40% indirect stake in the Egyptian wholesaler UCP via Hedef. The group launched the Almus brand for the marketing of manufacturers' generic products in the UK, and launched the virtual pharmacy chain Alphega in France. The virtual chain was introduced in Italy the following year.

Alliance UniChem acquired Swiss specialist healthcare logistics and pre-wholesaler Alloga in 2005, as well as Spanish pharmaceutical wholesaler Farmacen, and the Bairds Chemist retail business in Northern Ireland. The UK retail pharmacy business was rebranded from Moss Pharmacy to Alliance Pharmacy.

On 3 October 2005, it was formally announced that Alliance UniChem would enter into a friendly merger with Boots Group, the UK's largest retail pharmacy chain.[1] The merger was completed on 31 July 2006, forming Alliance Boots. Alliance UniChem was renamed Alliance Healthcare in 2009.


External links

  • Alliance Bootsno:Alliance Boots

sv:Alliance Unichem