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Bergen Brunswig

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Wholesaler enters into strategic alliance with the France's largest OTC supplier, Cooperation Pharmaceutique Francaise ("Cooper"), to make a joint bid for the largest drug distributor in Europe, Office Commercial Pharmaceutique, Bergen said April 26. The bid is for about $ 443 mil. (865 FFr per share for the approximately 2.765 mil. shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis). German-owned firm Gehe AG already has a bid in for OCP at 800 FFr per share. A French court has thrown that bid out. If the Bergen/Cooper bid is successful, Bergen will have a 20% stake, with an option to up its stake in the joint venture to 34%. OCP reported sales of over $ 6 bil. for the year ended Sept. 30 and has wholesale distribution operations in the U.S. (OCP America, formerly Ketchum), as well as in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal. The purchase by Bergen/Cooper has the backing of OCP's largest shareholder, the Bourely family. The deal is subject to certain regulatory requirements and the tendering of a majority of OCP shares.

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