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McKesson agrees to acquire Rx distributor in Ireland

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SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. has agreed to purchase the pharmaceutical distribution division of Dublin, Ireland-based UDG Healthcare PLC for about $466 million.

The deal — which is contingent upon a vote of approval from UDG Healthcare shareholders and clearance from European Union regulators — would give McKesson distribution channels across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the company said earlier this month.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the execution of an agreement to add the pharmaceutical distribution business and other health care assets of UDG to McKesson’s European business,” remarked Paul Julian, executive vice president and group president for McKesson Distribution Solutions. “At McKesson, we are committed to providing our customers with more efficient delivery of health care products and services globally.”

McKesson’s international pharmaceutical business contributed about 10% of the corporation’s overall revenue in its most recent quarter.

UDG said it was selling its Irish pharmaceutical distribution businesses and its U.K.-based travel health care business in order to focus on its higher-growth, higher-margin international health care services businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement McKesson will acquire: United Drug and United Drug Sangers, wholesale operations across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, respectively; TCP, a home health care provider in the Republic of Ireland; and MASTA, UDG’s travel health care business based in the United Kingdom.

The acquired operations will be reported as part of McKesson’s international pharmaceutical distribution and services business under the leadership of Marc Owen, chairman of the management board at Celesio AG, the European business within McKesson’s Distribution Solutions segment.

“The acquisition of UDG’s pharmaceutical distribution, home and travel health care businesses in Ireland and the U.K. will strengthen our position in the industry,” commented Owen.

“We have made this investment as part of our growth strategy, which leverages the positive trajectory of the wider health care sector in Europe. This acquisition will also complement our broader portfolio of assets in both Ireland and the United Kingdom,” Owen noted. “We look forward to continuing UDG’s tradition of excellent customer service and to working with the UDG team.”


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