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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

McKesson acquires majority stake in Celesio through investor agreements

SAN FRANCISCO - Healthcare services company McKesson said Thursday it has acquired its rival German drug distributor Celesio through acquiring Celesio assets from other investors, rescuing a deal that appeared to have failed.

The move comes after McKesson last week failed to gain enough shareholder support for a bid of 23.5 euros per share to buy Celesio outright.

McKesson agreed to acquire the Celesio holdings of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH for 23.5 euros per share. It also agreed with an affiliate of Elliott Management to buy Celesio convertible bonds. After those two agreements, McKesson has more than a 75 per cent stake in Celesio. Elliot earlier opposed McKesson's bid for the company.

The deals are expected to close within 10 business days.

San Francisco-based McKesson said the deal will help increase its scale, supply chain expertise and sourcing capabilities. The original deal was valued at $8.3 billion, including McKesson's assuming Celesio's outstanding debt.

Celesio CFO Marion Helmes said she is "pleased that the business combination with McKesson can go ahead" and said the combination will help the company achieve profitable growth and expand its position.

McKesson shares rose $4.63, or 2.7 per cent, to $177 in after-hours trading after ending the day up 1.6 per cent at $172.37.

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