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McKesson rescues Celesio deal despite shareholder reluctance

Business US healthcare giant McKesson has reached an agreement to buy bonds in Lloydspharmacy and AAH parent from a New York hedge fund

US healthcare giant McKesson has confirmed it will buy Lloydspharmacy and AAH parent Celesio, in a reversal of fortunes for the European pharmacy company.

The announcement came a week after both parties revealed the deal had fallen through, due to the reluctance of Celesio shareholders to sell up. But McKesson had since reached an agreement to buy Celesio bonds from New York hedge fund Elliot Management, it said yesterday (January 23).

Combined with its deal with family-owned German company Haniel to buy its 50.01 per cent of Celesio's shareholding for €23.50 (£19.58) per share, first announced in October, it means McKesson will own more than 75 per cent of Celesio's shares.

The announcement of the acquisition came a week after both parties revealed the deal had fallen through, due to the reluctance of Celesio shareholders to sell up

More about the McKesson-Celesio deal

McKesson's bid for Celesio falls through

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

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

Both deals were expected to be completed within 10 business days, and the US company then planned to launch a voluntary tender offer to buy the remaining Celesio shares from minority holders, McKesson said. The acquisition was expected to make McKesson between $275 million (£165m) and $235m within four years, it added.

McKesson chairman and chief executive officer John H Hammergren said he was "excited to move forward" with the deal.

"We look forward to bringing together the strengths of the McKesson and Celesio organisations so we can provide our customers with more efficient delivery of healthcare products and services around the world," he said.

Celesio's chief financial officer Marion Helmes said the deal was "an excellent step" towards achieving profitable growth.

McKesson, a specialist in wholesaling and healthcare technology, first announced plans to strike a £5.1 billion deal to buy Celesio in October 2013.

What do you think about the deal?

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John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

hostile takeover

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Oh dear.

Samantha Howell, Non healthcare professional

Why oh dear?

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

Absolutely. It does not matter who owns a company. If they do not give what a customer wants, they go out of business.

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