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Boots jobs to be saved.

Dental and laser eye correction services operated by retailer Boots have been saved from closure in a move likely to safeguard up to 700 jobs.

Optical Express has agreed to take on the in-store operations, which consist of 54 dentistry practices and nine laser eye clinics for an undisclosed sum.

The move comes a month after Nottingham-based Boots said 850 jobs were under threat because of its decision to pull out of healthcare services, which also included chiropody and laser hair removal, in order to focus on its retail business.

Optical Express, which currently employs around 2,300 people, said it would provide comparable care for existing Boots clients.

It is expected to vacate Boots premises and integrate services into new or existing locations.

The Glasgow-based company - founded in 1992 - has around 165 outlets and said it would become the UK's third largest dental services business following the acquisition of the dental practices, which takes effect from December 31.

The laser eye correction sites will transfer on October 25.

Chief executive David Moulsdale said: 'We are delighted to have agreed to acquire both businesses from Boots.

'As with our previous acquisitions, our first priority is to ensure the ongoing clinical care for patients and the welfare of the employees.'
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 15, 2004
Words:209
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