Mannheim. Mannheim. The Mannheim-based pharmaceutical wholesaler Phoenix wants to buy parts of the European business of its US competitor McKesson – and would thus drastically increase its sales. As Phoenix announced on Wednesday, the two companies have signed an agreement to acquire McKesson businesses in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia. The European headquarters of McKesson in Stuttgart also goes to Phoenix. The sale still has to be approved by antitrust law.
According to a Phoenix spokeswoman, the parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details. The Reuters news agency quoted an analyst estimate by Evercore ISI that Phoenix pays McKesson between half a billion and one billion dollars. France alone accounts for a good third of McKesson Europe’s turnover. Overall, Phoenix sales are likely to increase by more than ten billion euros as a result of the acquisitions of around 28 billion euros. Measured by sales, the Mannheim pharmaceutical wholesaler would be the fourth largest company in Baden-Württemberg after Daimler, the Schwarz Group (Lidl, Kaufland) and Bosch.
With the announced acquisition, Phoenix is not only strengthening its wholesale business, but also its role as a pharmacy operator in Europe. The McKesson companies in Belgium, Ireland and Italy also include pharmacies that companies can operate there. The number of around 2,800 Phoenix pharmacies in 14 European countries should thus increase to well over 3,000. “With the expansion of our European presence, we are making the Phoenix Group even more robust for future economic and regulatory market changes,” said CEO Sven Seidel, according to the announcement.
McKesson Europe, which is now partially sold, is essentially the former German pharmaceutical wholesaler Celesio, which the US group took over in 2014 after a tough struggle. Celesio’s roots go back to the drugstore and dye store Gehe & Co. founded in Dresden in 1835. According to the Reuters report, the Americans announced that they also wanted to do the rest of the business in Europe – in Great Britain, Norway, Austria, Germany and Denmark – Check “strategic alternatives”. The goal is the complete exit from Europe.