McKesson nears takeover bid of Celesio - sources

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Oct 23, 2013 12:41 PM EDT

According to two sources who were familiar with the negotiations, US drugs distributor McKesson was close to offering a deal to German company Celesio. The EUR5.5 billion or USD7.6 billion deal would have MCKesson take over the European drug distributor.

The largest drug wholesale group in the US would be offering a EUR23 per share to acquire up to 50.01% of Celesio's shares. McKesson would be acquiring a significant stake in Celesio from Franz Haniel & Cie, a diversified holding company. The announcement would be made on Thursday at 1230 GMT, the same time when McKesson would be releasing its latest quarterly results.

Should the acquisition deal push through, Celesio would be valued at around EUR5.5 billion. The valuation also included the German company's EUR1.6 billion current financial debt.

Reuters could not obtain comment from both Celesio and McKesson about the report.

Shares of Celesio rose 5.7% at 1439 GMT today. This brought total share price increase to 37% since June this year when Celesio's major shareholder Haniel was toying on selling its stake in the company.

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