McKesson succeeds in new effort to acquire Celesio

Bondholder sale brings McKesson its desired >75% ownership of the European wholesaler

McKesson announced last week that it had succeeded in completing an offer to purchase bonds held by a US hedge fund, Elliott Management, and as the bonds are convertible to shares, that purchase combined with its earlier buyout of the 50% of the company owned by Franz Haniel & Cie. brings it over the 75% threshold it desired in order to comply with German laws on company ownership. According to a Reuters report, McKesson can now enter into a so-called “domination and profit and loss transfer agreement,” which gives it financial control of the company. McKesson held to its final offering price for the stock, which values the company at about $8.5 billion; terms of the bond purchase from Elliott were not disclosed.

However these financial intricacies get settled, McKesson can now forge ahead with its plans to be a global drug distributor. Its other Big Three competitors—Cardinal Health and Amerisourcebergen—have made acquisitions or transactions to consolidate generic drug purchasing either geographically or by distribution channel (or both), and to partner more broadly with pharma manufacturers seeking global market access.