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UDG sell UniDrug stake to Boots for E82m

Monday, August 18 10:08:02

UDG Healthcare, the Irish international provider of healthcare services, today said it has sold its 50pc stake in UniDrug Distribution Group Limited to its joint venture partner Alliance Boots for E82m in cash.

Founded in 1996, UniDrug has been a very successful 50:50 joint venture between UDG Healthcare and Alliance Boots. UDG Healthcare received a net after tax profit contribution from UniDrug of E5.6 million in fiscal 2013.

The carrying value of the UniDrug investment is E12 million and a gain on disposal of E70 million is estimated. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and debt pay down, UDG said.

UniDrug provides pre-wholesale supply chain solutions to the healthcare industry in the UK, offering specialist storage, fulfilment and distribution services.

Following the disposal United Drug Supply Chain Services will remain an Alloga partner (pre-wholesaling) in the Republic of Ireland and will continue to work with Alliance Boots on this basis, it said.

"We will also continue our long term relationship for wholesale service provision to Alliance Boots in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland."

Commenting on the announcement Liam FitzGerald, Chief Executive of UDG Healthcare plc said, "UniDrug has been a very successful investment for UDG Healthcare. With the on-going convergence of the pre-wholesale and wholesale markets in the UK, UniDrug has a reduced fit with UDG Healthcare's core Supply Chain Services operations in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The opportunity to exit the joint venture allows UDG Healthcare to release over E80million to both reduce debt and for further investment in areas of our business which fit strategically with the future development of the Group."

For more visit: www.businessworld.ie