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McKesson sells part of EU arm to Phoenix and preps ‘eventual’ UK exit

Lloydspharmacy’s parent McKesson has agreed to sell some of its European business to the Phoenix Group, as it looks at “strategic alternatives” for an “eventual exit” from the UK.

The Phoenix Group has agreed to buy McKesson Europe businesses in France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, and Slovenia, McKesson announced in a statement today (July 7).

The company is expecting to complete the transaction in 2022, “subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals”.

McKesson will continue to operate its remaining European businesses in the UK, Norway, Austria, and Denmark, which are “not included in this transaction”, it specified.

However, a message to McKesson UK employees – seen by C+D – reads that McKesson is “looking into strategic alternatives that are likely to result in an eventual exit from the countries not included in this deal, including the UK”.

McKesson CEO Brian Tyler said selling the remaining European businesses will allow the company to “focus future investments on growth strategies outside of Europe”.

“Our goal is to accelerate our growth strategies, becoming a more focused organisation and enabling our mission to improve care in every setting,” he added.

McKesson UK told C+D it had nothing further to add to the statement.

C+D has also contacted the Phoenix Group for comment.

Earlier this year, Sky News suggested that McKesson was “in talks” to sell its UK pharmacy branches and wholesaler business, due to concerns about the industry’s financial viability. McKesson UK CEO Toby Anderson advised staff at the time not to comment on rumours.

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