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McKesson to buy Ireland’s UDG Healthcare

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SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. plans to acquire the pharmaceutical distribution division of Dublin, Ireland-based UDG Healthcare plc for about $466 million.

McKesson HQ building SF_WEBMcKesson said early Friday that under the deal it will purchase United Drug and United Drug Sangers, leading 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.

“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,” Paul Julian, executive vice president and group president for McKesson Distribution Solutions, said in a statement. “At McKesson, we are committed to providing our customers with more efficient delivery of health care products and services globally.”

With the agreement, more than 1,000 UDG employees will join McKesson. Plans call for the acquired operations to be reported as part of McKesson’s International Pharmaceutical Distribution and Services business, led by Marc Owen, chairman of the management board at Celesio AG, the European business in 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. We have made this investment as part of our growth strategy, which leverages the positive trajectory of the wider health care sector in Europe,” Owen stated. “This acquisition will also complement our broader portfolio of assets in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.”

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 international health care services businesses.

“It gives us the resources to continue building our higher-margin, higher-growth divisions, while placing our legacy United Drug Supply Chain Services business in the ownership of a global leader who will bring new opportunities and strengths to that business, its staff and its customers,” commented Peter Gray, chairman of UDG Healthcare.

Pending UDG shareholder approval, EU regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

McKesson noted that the deal follows its recent agreement to acquire 281 pharmacies operated by Sainsbury in the United Kingdom. That acquisition also is slated to close in the first half of 2016.


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