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AS Watson to kick off Dutch expansion by Portegies drugstore acquisition

Jun '05
Europe based health & beauty product supplier A.S. Watson announced the acquisition of Portegies Drugstore in the Netherlands. Portegies was founded in 1865 and has grown into a drugstore chain of 38 outlets located mainly in Randstad and Central Netherlands with approximately 280 employees.

An agreement was reached between A.S. Watson and Portegies Drugstore to integrate the Dutch operation into the Group's health and beauty portfolio by rebranding all the stores under one of the A.S. Watson operating brands starting from August 16.

The Netherlands is one of A.S. Watson's key markets in Continental Europe. The group plans to open as many as 100 stores in the Netherlands in 2005. The acquisition of Portegies is part of the group's expansion strategy for Europe. By joining the A.S. Watson Group, Portegies will be able to optimise the growth prospects of the drugstore chain.

In the Netherlands, A.S. Watson operates three health and beauty brands including Kruidvat, Trekpleister and ICI PARIS XL.

A.S. Watson is the largest health and beauty retailer in the world. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited. With a history dating back to 1828, A.S. Watson has evolved into an international retail and manufacturing corporation with operations in 31 markets worldwide.

A.S. Watson operates a total of 16 retail brands with 6,500 stores spanning from health & beauty chains, perfumeries es & cosmetics to food, electronics, fine wine and airport retails. It is also an established player in the beverage industry, providing a full range of beverages from bottled water, fruit juices, soft drinks and tea products to some of the world's finest wine labels via its international wine wholesaling and distribution network. At present, A.S. Watson employs over 87,000 people worldwide.

Hutchison Whampoa Limited

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