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Alliance UniChem to enter Russian pharmaceutical wholesale market

Having already agreed to merge with Boots Group Plc, European healthcare group Alliance UniChem has now set its sights on the Russian pharmaceutical wholesale market. Alliance UniChem has reached an agreement to acquire a 96% controlling stake in Russia's A.P. Apteka Holding Ltd, for approximately GBP18 million.
Apteka is Russia's fifth largest pharmaceutical wholesaler with a network of 20 depots across the country. It has just over 2,400 employees serving more than 12,000 pharmacies and 2,000 hospitals. It reported sales of GBP115 million for the year ending 31 March 2005 and since 2001 has grown its sales at an annual compound rate of over 40%.

Ian Meakins, Alliance UniChem chief executive, said the acquisition would give the company access to a market estimated to be worth over GBP3 billion. The Russian pharmaceutical wholesale market is also expected to grow at low double digit growth rates for the foreseeable future.

"This transaction is in line with our strategy of gaining a presence in important new geographical territories and will enable us to enter the Russian market as a significant and important participant," Mr Meakins explained.

Source:  Pharmaceutical Business

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