McKesson Chairman and CEO John Hammergren said the pharmacies and hospitals that are its customers would “benefit from increased scale, supply-chain expertise and sourcing capabilities.”
Analysts, though, said the deal creates risk for McKesson. Diana Lee of Moody's said Celesio's retail outlets “operate in highly competitive markets.”
Celesio, based in Stuttgart, Germany, owns the Lloyd's pharmacy chain in the U.K.
San Francisco-based McKesson, which also sells health information technology, medical and surgical supply distribution, and other services, reported last week that income edged up about 1% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, to $404 million on revenue of $33 billion.
McKesson's competitors are growing and diversifying, too. AmerisourceBergen signed a 10-year deal with Walgreen Co. to supply the pharmacy chain with brand-name, generic and specialty drugs.
Walgreen also recently purchased a 45% stake in U.K.-based pharmacy chain Alliance Boots.
Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee