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Walgreens further cuts stake in drug distributor Cencora

FILE PHOTO: People walk by a Walgreens, owned by the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., in Manhattan, New York City

(Reuters) - Walgreens Boots Alliance sold $400 million worth of shares in drug distributor Cencora back to the company, further lowering its stake to about 12% from about 13%, the companies said on Wednesday.

The proceeds will be used primarily for debt paydown and general corporate purposes, Walgreens said.

For the past year, the pharmacy chain has been gradually reducing its stake in the drug distributor.

In November, Walgreens sold about $674 million worth of shares in Cencora and, prior to that, in August, sold some shares for proceeds of about $1.85 billion.

Walgreens owned about 15% in Cencora as of November last year.

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The sale has no impact to the long-term partnership between the two companies, Walgreens said.

Separately, Cencora said it is now raising its fiscal 2024 profit forecast to $13.35 to $13.55 per share, up from the previous range of $13.30 to $13.50 per share.

(Reporting by Sneha S K in Bengaluru; Editing by Alan Barona)