Thursday 22 March 2018

United Drug pays €35m for German outsourcer

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Irish healthcare firm United Drug has agreed to pay €35m to buy Pharmexx, a German logistics and contract sales business. It is acquiring the unit from drug group Celesio, which in Ireland owns distributors Cahill May Roberts and the Unicare pharmacy chain.

United Drug said that the acquisition will involve a cash payment of €28.7m, which is inclusive of net cash and other liability items being assumed as part of the deal.

Pharmexx, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, employs over 2,300 people and provides contract sales outsourcing services to global pharmaceutical manufacturers. The services are provided by subsidiary operations throughout Europe and in Canada, and via minority shareholdings in businesses located in Brazil and Argentina. Pharmexx also has a small operation in Ireland.

It began operations here in 2007 and in 2009 bought Alchemy Healthcare Ireland.

Pharmexx will become part of United Drug's Ashfield Group, which is part of the Irish group's sales, marketing and medical services division. Ashfield employs over 2,000 people and is headquartered in the UK. It provides contract sales as well as nurse advisory outsourcing, training and marketing services.

United Drug chief executive Liam FitzGerald said the acquisition of Pharmexx was a "major step forward" in the group's ambition to become the leading global provider of contract sales outsourcing services to the pharmaceutical sector.

Irish Independent

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