As Alliance Boots acquires two pharmacy chains in Latin America, Retail Week lifts the lid on parent firm Farmacias Ahumada.

Alliance Boots acquires two pharmacy chains in Latin America

  • Farmacias Ahumada (FASA) Group is a publically-listed pharmaceutical specialist in Latin America comprising of two retailers: Farmacias Benavides, based in Mexico and Farmacias Ahumada, based in Chile. Alliance Boots is buying the firm from from Group Controladora Casa Saba (CCS), a subsidiary of Grupo Casa Saba (GCS).
  • FASA operates 1,400 stores across both chains, with combined revenues of around £835m.
  • The retailers sell medicines, pharmacy products, nutritional supplements, beauty, hygiene, personal care and convenience items.

Farmacias Ahumada

  • Farmacias Ahumada was founded in 1969 and is one of the three largest retail pharmacy chains in Chile, alongside Cruz Verde and Salcobrand.  
  • Farmacias Ahumada operates 400 stores, which on average cover 60 sq m and are located primarily in central Chile. The business employs around 3,900 people.
  • In 2009, FASA was involved in an alleged price-fixing scandal with rivals Cruz Verde and Salcobrand. According to reports at the time, the company reached an out-of-court settlement with the country’s anti-trust regulator, agreeing to a fine and to reimburse customers.

Farmacias Benavides

  • Farmacias Benavides was founded in 1917 and has grown to be the third largest retail pharmacy chain in Mexico, with around 1,000 stores.
  • The average store size is around 240 sq m and the business employs about 7,800 people.
  • In 2002, it was acquired by Farmacias Ahumada (FASA) and three years later its pharmacies were all brought under the new name Farmacias Benavides.