A&D Pharma confirms Ozone acquisition talks

A&D Pharma, Romania’s largest pharma retailer, has confirmed it is in talks with Ozone to acquire its pharmaceutical operations across five Central and Eastern European countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic) as well as the Bulgarian-based distributor Arishop Pharma AD. The deal could be sealed by year-end.
“A&D Pharma announces that it is in negotiations to acquire fast-growing private pharmaceutical companies operating across five Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. These companies are: Arishop Pharma AD and its subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Ozone Laboratories Polska and Ozone Laboratories Polska Services in Poland, Ozone Laboratories Magyarorszag Kft. in Hungary, Ozone Laboratories Slovakia s.r.o. in Slovakia and Ozone Laboratories Czech Republic s.r.o. in the Czech Republic”, reads the press release of the company. All the target companies are related parties with A&D Pharma.

The round of acquisitions is part of the company’s strategy to expand regionally and to grow its marketing and sales divisions.

“A&D Pharma is contemplating this acquisition in order to accelerate its growth outside of Romania and in its sales and marketing division. With this acquisition, A&D Pharma would make a step forward in its strategy to consolidate its position as one of the largest integrated pharmaceutical company in Central and Eastern Europe.

The entrepreneurial culture of the target companies and the nature of services provided across different CEE countries would make a very good fit for A&D Pharma. We will keep the market informed as we progress in our negotiations”, said Robert Popescu (photo), CEO of the company.

Two weeks ago, Stephen Stead, the CEO of LaborMed told Wall-Street in an interview that “Ozone’s subsidiaries that would move under A&D Pharma’s clout will import LaborMed products and will sell them further to large distributors”. At that time, Robert Popescu refused to confirm the information, saying that “Ozone’s branches are independent and they haven’t been subject to any acquisition talks with A&D Pharma, but that the possibility exists”.

All companies provide marketing and sales services to pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as the import and distribution of medicines. In Bulgaria, Arishop Pharma AD and its subsidiaries specialized in the promotion of pharmaceutical products to pharmacies and hospitals, as well as in the import and distribution of medicines. In Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Ozone Laboratories sells prescription and OTC drugs, food supplements and selected medical devices.

The acquisition is subject to further negotiations and approval by both parties’ senior management and a consortium of five banks which recently granted a EUR 100 million refinancing loan to A&D Pharma: Banca Comerciala Romana SA; BRD - Groupe Société Générale SA; Citibank Europe Plc; RBS Bank (Romania) S.A. and UniCredit Bank Austria AG. Due diligence has been conducted and, if approved, the acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of 2009.

Earlier this year, LaborMed acquired Ozone Laboratories product portfolio in a deal evaluated at €20-30 million.

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