Uniphar acquires Dutch pharma wholesaler BModesto for €75m

Deal ‘transforms’ Irish-listed healthcare group’s capacity in continental Europe


Irish-listed healthcare group Uniphar has acquired Dutch pharmaceutical services business BModesto Group in a deal worth €75 million, including an upfront payment of €51 million.

Chiefly focused on pharmacy wholesale, the Lelystad-headquartered company also provides a range of services to healthcare companies, pharmacies and hospitals including clinical trial services and medical device distribution.

The company, which will be attached to Uniphar’s product access division, generated earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of €7.7 million. It is expected to generate a return on capital employed of between 12 per cent and 15 per cent, “in line with Uniphar’s target rate”, within three years, the company said in a statement.

Ger Rabbette, chief executive of Uniphar, said the acquisition was a significant one for the group, strengthening its “product access offering in Europe and beyond”.

He said: “The company’s strategic location, sophisticated sourcing, regulatory capabilities and broad access to key end markets strengthens our evolving global service offering and will allow us to make a positive difference in the lives of more patients.”

In a note on the transaction, analysts from Davy Stockbrokers said the deal “transforms Uniphar’s capabilities in continental Europe”.

“The company now has significant opportunities to leverage its licensed product sales across continental Europe as well as expanding into unlicensed products in this market,” the analysts said. “We expect investments will be made to enable this growth and, over time, there is the potential to expand BModesto’s current distribution capacity. This acquisition plays a key role in the execution of Uniphar’s growth strategy.”

The acquisition of BModesto marks Uniphar’s third big deal in as many months. Last month, the group acquired US healthcare agency Inspired Health, which closely followed the announcement in September that it will buy Dublin-headquartered McCauley Pharmacy Group for about €50 million from investment fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) and the chain’s founder, Sam McCauley.

That deal added 37 retail pharmacies to Uniphar, although it is subject to approval by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Uniphar is a multifaceted international business that provides integrated services to more than 200 multinational pharmaceutical and medical technology manufacturers. It also has a substantial presence in the Irish retail pharmacy sector, accounting for more than one-fifth of the market.

By Ian Curran and for www.irishtimes.com

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