COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   PDA UnionLatest News   »   PDA responds to announcements about CCA members being acquired

PDA responds to announcements about CCA members being acquired

The PDA is reassuring pharmacists working at large corporations that the union will be there working hard to represent, and further, the interests of employed and locum pharmacists, regardless of any potential changes to the ownership of their employer.

Thu 9th June 2022 The PDA

The PDA are responding after announcements have been made about the future ownership of several Company Chemist Association (CCA) member businesses, some of the most significant employers of community pharmacists in the UK.


U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s £7billion takeover of British supermarket group Morrisons cleared its last regulatory challenge, more than eight months after shareholders backed the deal.  Morrisons has over 100 in-store pharmacies 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) formally accepted CD&R’s offer to sell 87 petrol stations to address concerns over lack of competition on fuel prices. Morrisons has been operating as a separate business whilst the CMA conducted its investigations, and the business can now be absorbed into the wider group.


Media reports today say that Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has teamed up with US private equity fund Apollo Global Management to make a £5bn bid for the UK’s Boots chain, with a minority stake to be kept by Walgreens who have so far been unable to sell the entire business. A successful acquisition by Reliance Industries could lead to expansion in Asia.

This announcement is not yet of an agreed deal and some market speculation is that the UK-based Issa brothers and their private equity partner TDR Capital, who have already acquired another CCA member, Asda, could also launch a rival bid.

McKesson UK

Meanwhile for those at Lloyds Pharmacy, AURELIUS the pan-European investor, which is the new owner of what was previously McKesson UK, begin to make changes to their company.

PDA membership is for all employed/locum pharmacists in the UK

Pharmacists can retain their membership of the PDA if they change employers, move to new areas of practice or move between employment and being self-employed.  Similarly, membership of the PDA is not impacted by a change of ownership of any company.

Where the PDA Union has trade union recognition rights for pharmacists at a company, as is the case at Boots and Lloyds, the PDA Union negotiate terms and conditions for store-based pharmacists as well as being a key partner on topics such as Health and Safety. This activity proceeds as normal until any potential acquisition takes effect and continues once the new owners are in place too. This means that there will be no change to the recognition agreement.

If units from within a company where the union has recognition are sold to alternative owners, that union recognition will also normally transfer with the existing employees.

PDA Director, Paul Day said, “Though the sector seems to have recently seen higher than usual levels of corporate activity, the nature of large businesses is that they can be bought and sold at any time, and often by entities who are not previously connected to UK pharmacy. Whoever owns any business, the union will interact with them on behalf of our members.

We encourage the owners, and their appointed management to invest in pharmacy, to manage their business well and communicate to employees.  We want to see any owners realise the value in utilising their professional workforce to its full potential, as the most available part of the NHS, embedded in the heart of the community. We want to see pharmacies treated as healthcare settings and dissuade attempts to treat medicines as ordinary items of commerce. 

The PDA Union will always act in the interests of our members and will be supporting them to exercise their rights at work whatever decisions and actions are implemented by any existing or future owners.”

The PDA team includes experts in employment law so they can help with a wide range of possible changes that could emerge from the acquisition of any business. Trade unions can generally only give legal advice to members and pharmacists are therefore encouraged to join the PDA Union and similarly, the PDA encourages other members of the pharmacy team to join an appropriate union for them.

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)