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German giant Phoenix enters Romania, buys Farmexim and Help Net pharmacy chain

German healthcare provider Phoenix joins the Romanian market after has signed a purchase agreement for the pharmaceutical wholesaler Farmexim S.A. and the national pharmacy chain Help Net Farma S.A., a press release informs. According to market sources, the transaction is estimated at over EUR 100 million.

The acquisition is subject to antitrust approval.

“The Romanian health care sector is developing dynamically. The acquisition paves our way to service this growth market which has been a white spot for us”, said Oliver Windholz, CEO of Phoenix Pharma SE. Farmexim and Help Net are both sizeable players in pharmaceutical wholesale and retail business in Romania. This fits with Phoenix’ approach to be an integrated health care provider. “The corporate culture of Farmexim and Help Net is compatible with ours. We are firmly convinced that with this strong management team we will successfully develop future business“, Windholz explained.

Founded in 1990 by Ovidiu Buluc, Farmexim was the first private import and distribution company of pharmaceutical products in Romania. The leading Bucharest based pharmaceutical wholesaler employs around 800 people. In 2016, sales exceeded EUR 400 million. The ten nationwide distribution centres supply approximately 3,900 customers – mainly pharmacies and hospitals. Help Net Farma owns and operates the Help Net pharmacy chain. The retailer is among the top five pharmacy chains in Romania with a network of approximately 220 pharmacies across the country. The approximately 1,600 employees offer high quality patient services and reliable supply of medicines to more than 2.5 million customers.

“I am convinced that as a family owned business and a leading European healthcare provider, Phoenix will continue the success and the popularity of Farmexim and Help Net”, said majority shareholder Ovidiu Buluc, signing the contract.

He stated that the current management of the two companies will continue working side by side with the new owner ensuring a prosperous business development for Farmexim and Help Net.

“Transferring the business from family to family is of great importance because no one can understand the value of something built from scratch than someone who climbed that road”, Buluc concluded.

German pharmaceutical distributor Phoenix has been carrying negotiations to take over Romanian group Farmexim ever since 2016.

About Anca Bernovici