McKesson completes legal filings in Germany to control its Celesio AG acquisition

Consolidation creates a global pharma distributor grossing $170 billion and employing 85,000

Yesterday (Dec. 2), McKesson announced the approval by the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court of its “domination and profit and loss transfer agreement” (which means, roughly, McKesson controls Celesio and can consolidate financial reporting of the two entities), clearing the way for “our companies to operate in an integrated way, creating a global leader in pharmaceutical purchasing and distribution,” according to a statement from McKesson CEO John Hammergren. Celesio will operate as a unit of McKesson Distribution Solutions, led by Paul Julien, EVP. Celesio itself will continue to be led by Marc Own as chairman. A new Global Procurement team will now begin making purchasing arrangements with pharma manufacturers globally.

McKesson made its original bid for Celesio in October 2013 and while it won the necessary shareholder support by ponying up $8.3 billion, still owns only 76% of the company.

Unquestionably, McKesson-Celesio will be a significant player in healthcare across much of the world. McKesson is the No. 1 drug distributor in the US; Celesio both distributes in Europe and Brazil (altogether, the two companies operate in 20 countries.) They also manage a network of 12,000 owned or franchised pharmacies.