Cardinal Health sells China pharma business for $1.2 billion

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DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health Inc. plans to sell its Cardinal Health China business to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co. Ltd. for $1.2 billion.

Cardinal said the agreement, announced late Tuesday, includes its pharmaceutical and medical products distribution business in China but not its other businesses there, including Cordis, the recently acquired Patient Recovery business, its medical sourcing team and other functions.

Cardinal Health logo“It has been an honor to serve the people of China through our distribution business for the past seven years. We recognize that significant scale is required to be a market leader in China and, with that in mind, we are delighted to announce that Shanghai Pharma has agreed to purchase our distribution business in China,” Cardinal Health chairman and chief executive officer George Barrett said in a statement.

“We are very proud of the work that our colleagues have done,” he added, “and their accomplishments have allowed us to build a business that is now poised for further growth under its new owners.”

In addition, Cardinal said Eric Zwisler, chairman of Cardinal Health China, will retire effective immediately as part of the sale.

“On behalf of everyone at Cardinal Health, I’d like to thank Eric for many years of leadership and dedication to our organization. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” Barrett commented.

Plans call for employees, infrastructure, systems and processes supporting the Cardinal Health China business to transition to Shanghai Pharma when the deal is completed, Cardinal said. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Cardinal Health’s fiscal year, pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

“Amid the national health care reform, the acquisition of the Cardinal Health China business will further strengthen our leadership in the distribution and retail pharmacy network and expedite our transformation to become a modern, global health care provider,” stated Zhou Jun, chairman of Shanghai Pharma. “This will also facilitate the growth of our pharmaceutical manufacturing business, enabling us to play a significant role in the government’s ‘Healthy China’ initiative.”


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