McKesson launches takeover of Germany's Celesio

October 24, 2013

BERLIN (AP) -- American pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. has launched a takeover of German competitor Celesio AG, signing an agreement to take a majority stake and making an offer to other shareholders.

Celesio said the two companies sealed a merger deal on Thursday and that its management welcomes the takeover offer. It said McKesson signed an agreement with German company Haniel to acquire its 50.01 stake in Celesio, but didn't specify how much McKesson is paying.

In addition, Celesio says San Francisco-based McKesson will launch a takeover offer to other shareholders of 23 euros per share. That compares with a closing price of 21.73 euros in Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Celesio is based in Stuttgart. It has about 38,000 employees, operates in 14 countries and runs 2,200 pharmacies.