U.S. pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp.
has launched an $8.3 billion takeover offer
, including debt, for German competitor Celesio.
McKesson signed an agreement Thursday with German company Haniel to acquire its 50.01 stake in Celesio and is making an offer to other shareholders at 23 euros ($31.71) a share. The offer represents a 5.8% premium to Celesio's closing share price on Wednesday.
San Francisco-based McKesson is also assuming Celesio's outstanding debt, lifting the value of the deal up to $8.3 billion. Celesio's management has welcomed the offer.
McKesson supplies medicines to half of U.S. hospitals, as well as doctors and health plans. It has more than 37,000 employees and reported revenue of $122.7 billion last year.
Stuttgart-based Celesio has about 38,000 employees, operates in 14 countries, runs 2,200 pharmacies and posted revenue of about $29.5 billion in 2012.
The two companies plan to maintain their own brands after the deal is completed, McKesson said.