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McKesson announces 'milestone' in Lloydspharmacy takeover

A court's approval for the companies to integrate will make McKesson a "global leader", it says

US healthcare giant McKesson has celebrated a "key milestone" in its takeover of Lloydspharmacy parent company Celesio.

A German court had "cleared the path" for McKesson and Celesio to operate as an integrated company, McKesson announced yesterday (December 2). The news comes over a year since McKesson first revealed its takeover plans, and more than six months since Celesio surrendered its top boardroom positions to its new owner.

The court's approval of the registration of a "domination and profit and loss transfer agreement" between the two companies would be formally registered "shortly", McKesson said. This would allow the integrated companies to operate as a "global leader in pharmaceutical purchasing and distribution", said McKesson chairman and CEO John Hammergren.

McKesson executive vice-chairman Paul Julian said his company remained "committed" to supporting Celesio to implement its growth strategy.

"We are delighted to achieve this important milestone, which allows our organisations to more closely align in the areas where we can deliver further value for our customers and manufacturing partners," he said.

Once the transfer agreement had been formally registered, a new global procurement team would be created to lead McKesson and Celesio's combined strategies, McKesson said. The US company, which currently owns 76 per cent of Celesio's outstanding shares, said it expected the combined company to make between $275 million (£176m) and $325m (£208m) within four years of the agreement being registered, it added.

Last month, Celesio UK managing director Cormac Tobin told C+D that he would have liked to have bought the Co-operative's pharmacies when they were put up for sale earlier this year.

In July, Celesio reported a £12m loss in the first half of 2014, despite increased service revenue from Lloydspharmacy.

What effect could the takeover of pharmacy businesses by US companies have on the sector? 

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Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

err, I think that should read millstone.

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