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Sweden's pharmacy monopoly fading

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Sweden breaks up its Apoteket retail pharmacy monopoly by auctioning 465 of its more than 900 stores to four firms for 5.9 billion crowns ($844.5 million). In a Nov. 11 release, Apoteket said Scandinavian investors Altor Equity Partners bough 208 stores; Finnish firm Oriola-KD Oyj bought 171 stores; Swedish investment group Segulah AB bought 62 stores; and Sweden's Investor AB and Priveq Investment AB bought 24 stores. Swedish consumers have purchased OTC and Rx drugs exclusively from Apoteket since 1970, but the country's center-right coalition government rolled back state ownership of services since coming to power in 2006 (1"The Tan Sheet" March 2, 2009, In Brief). The government plans to auction 150 additional stores to small business. Apoteket serves about 315,000 customers a day and sold $3.6 billion in medicine to consumers in 2008
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