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Pharmaceuticals

McKesson takover bid for Celesio founders on shareholders resistance

US healthcare giant McKesson has said its bid to buy German pharmaceutical wholesaler Celesio failed due to a lack of shareholders’ support. Just last week, McKesson raised its offer to convince Celesio’s owners.

McKesson Corporation was unsuccessful in reaching the 75 percent completion condition in its offer for the outstanding shares and convertible bonds of Celesio, the US-based healthcare service provider announced Monday.

Under the deal, worth an estimated 6.2 billion euros ($8.5 billion), McKesson had raised its offer last week from an original 23 euros per share to 23.5 euros, saying it was its best and final offer.

Underscoring his disappointment, McKesson Chief Executive John Hammergren said the company would continue to explore and evaluate opportunities to further strengthen its businesses.

The takeover bid collapsed in spite of last minute approval by Elliot hedge fund, which is a major shareholder in Celesio. Elliot had opposed the deal initially, but said it would support the bid after McKesson raised its offer.

The pharmaceutical industry vs. global health care

In a separate statement released Tuesday, Celesio also said it was disappointed that the takeover had failed to come about.

“We regret that this strategically sound transaction has not gone through,” Marion Helmes, speaker of the management board and Celesio Chief Financial Officer said.

The tie-up between McKesson and Celesio would have created a leading global provider of healthcare services. McKesson shares fell more than 5 percent in trading on Monday.

Celesio's majority owner, Germany's Haniel Group, said it was now considering other options to sell off the pharmaceutical wholesaler. It claimed, however, that Celesio could just as well survive on its own.

uhe/hc (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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