Walgreens Boots Alliance makes $970M investment in Shields Health Solutions

photo of Walgreens storefront in Evanston, Illinois
Walgreens is taking a 71% stake in Shields Health Solutions. (Walgreens)

The Walgreens Boots Alliance is making a $970M investment in Shields Health Solutions, a prominent company in health system-owned specialty pharmacy.

The investment will give Walgreens a 71% stake in Shields, with the option to fully acquire the company in the future, according to the announcement. The move, WBA said, solidifies its focus on accelerating innovative healthcare models.

Shields has significantly expanded its platform over the past several years, the companies said, and it now represents 1 million patients across 30 disease states. Shields partners with more than 70 health systems across the country.

“Delivering pharmacy and healthcare services in the local community is one of many ways WBA is working to improve access and health outcomes, as well as to lower the total cost of care,” said Roz Brewer, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, in a statement.

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“We’re continuing to make strategic investments in pharmacy and healthcare solutions that can build on our core pharmacy business, and further expand our healthcare reach in communities," Brewer said. "The Shields model has shown to improve patient care, and will be complementary to our existing specialty pharmacy offering, further expanding our capabilities to best meet the needs of health system partners and patients.”

Following the completion of the investment, Shields will continue to operate as it currently does, under the same management and branding, according to the announcement. Existing investors such as private equity firm Welsh Carson, Anderson & Stowe and founder and Board Chairman Jack Shields will remain shareholders.

The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the second quarter of WBA's 2022 fiscal year.

“WBA’s further investment in Shields is a validation of our proven growth strategy, and we are pleased they will be an even more powerful driver in helping us to broaden and deepen our differentiated model," said Lee Cooper, CEO of Shields Health Solutions, in a statement. "We will remain focused on driving improved clinical and economic outcomes for our stakeholders: our valued health system partners, our patients most in-need and our care-focused and talented team.”