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McKesson’s bid for Celesio falls through

Business McKesson was unable to buy the minimum requirement of three quarters of Celesio’s shares by last week’s deadline, despite increasing its offer, Celesio announced yesterday

US healthcare giant McKesson's plans to buy Lloydspharmacy and AAH parent company Celesio have fallen through at the eleventh hour, after Celesio's shareholders refused to sell up.

McKesson had been unable to buy the minimum requirement of three quarters of Celesio's shares by last week's deadline, despite increasing its offer from €23 to €23.50 (£19.58) per share, Celesio announced yesterday (January 13).

Celesio's chief financial officer Marion Helmes said she regretted that the "globally sound transaction" had not gone ahead, as the combined company would have been a "globally leading provider of healthcare services".

McKesson had planned to buy 50.01 per cent of Celesio's shares upfront, and the remainder by March 2014

More about the McKesson-Celesio deal

What next after the Celesio sale?

US giant McKesson snaps up Lloydspharmacy parent company for £5bn

'Business as usual' at Celesio, vows McKesson boss after takeover

Celesio would remain an independent company and continue its "successful strategy" of expanding its European pharmacy network and central purchasing activities while optimising its supply chain, she said.

Stephan Gemkow, chairman of Celesio's supervisory board, agreed it was a "pity" the takeover bid had failed.

"Nonetheless, it is not the end of the world for Celesio, which is strategically very well positioned," he said.

McKesson, a specialist in wholesaling and healthcare technology, first announced plans to strike a £5.1 billion deal to buy Celesio in October 2013. The deal would have involved the US company buying 50.01 per cent of Celesio's shares upfront, buying another 25 per cent by the deadline of midnight on January 9 and buying the remainder of the shares by March 2014.

But shareholders had refused to sell up by the January deadline, despite Celesio's management and supervisory boards recommending they accept the McKesson offer in December.

The failure of the bid means the family-owned German company Haniel will remain Celesio's largest shareholder, with 50.01 per cent of its shares.

McKesson's chairman and chief executive officer John H Hammergren said he was "disappointed" the offer had not been successful but said McKesson would continue to "evaluate new opportunities" to strengthen its business.

What do you think about the deal's breakdown?

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Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Something fishy. Nonetheless I'm pleased the American company didn't take over otherwise they would have implemented their ruthless business tactics to the UK

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