Friday, June 21, 2013

Crazy Rumor of the Week: CVS + Celesio?

Is CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) planning further overseas expansion?

According to a German business magazine, CVS Caremark has been chatting with Celesio, one of the Big 3 EU pharmaceutical wholesalers. See Celesio Said to Have Held Talks With CVS on Cooperation. Here is the original story (I think): Verkaufsgespräche über Celesio.

An acquisition seems unlikely, given the limited synergies between U.S. drugstore retailing and EU wholesaling. Recall that the Walgreens-Alliance Boots deal was motivated by a potent combination of financial economics and Stefano Pessina's personal ambitions. That said, the global generic purchasing scale of CVS-Celesio would rival the Walgreens-Alliance Boots-AmerisourceBergen deal. Hmmm.

While all sides are denying everything, the article's details seem just a bit too specific to be pure speculation. Big deals have a funny way of motivating more deals. Stay tuned.

For those who don't know, Celesio is one the big three pan-European wholesalers. For more highlights on the EU wholesaling market, see McKesson Downplays European Wholesaling Expansion.

Recall that CVS Caremark's Brazilian acquisition was reported in the business press about two months before the company confirmed the deal. Just sayin'.

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