Competition watchdogs block Uniphar takeover of Navi Group

Competition authorities have made a rare decision to block a proposed company takeover by rejecting the proposed acquisition of Navi Group by publicly traded pharmacy group Uniphar.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) blocked the proposed acquisition of pharmacy solutions company NaviCorp Limited, trading as Navi Group, on the grounds that the proposed acquisition would result in a significant reduction in competition in the state’s services markets.

The parties can appeal the decision to the High Court. You have 40 days from December 15 to accept a case.

The proposed acquisition was initially filed with the CCPC in December 2021. NaviCorp operates a number of wholly owned subsidiaries: Thera Pharmaceuticals Limited, CarePlus Pharmacy DAC, TouchPlus Technologies Limited and Pembroke Healthcare Limited, which provide IT and retail franchise services to retail pharmacies.

The listed pharmacy supply group Uniphar already owns the pharmacy chain Hickeys, which it bought two years ago, as well as the pharmacy brands Allcare and Life. Since an IPO in 2019, the company has also invested in specialized medical and pharmaceutical services through a series of acquisitions.

The group, led by CEO Ger Rabbette, employs more than 2,900 people in Ireland, UK, Germany, Switzerland and the US, as well as in the Benelux and Scandinavia regions.

In a statement, the CCPC said it decided last April to conduct a full Phase 2 investigation into the proposed acquisition and subsequently provided an assessment to the parties in September 2022.

“After completing its full investigation, the CCPC has concluded that the Proposed Acquisition may not go ahead as it will result in a material reduction in competition in each of the markets for: the provision of shopping group services in the State; and the provision of joint management and branding services in the state.”

Blocked takeovers are rare – the Uniphar case is the first to be formally blocked since the agency was restructured in its current form in 2014 by a merger of competition and consumer protection agencies. There may be times when the parties to a proposed acquisition will cancel a deal themselves if they feel it might be blocked.

The full CCPC determination as to why it blocked the Uniphar deal must be published no later than 60 working days from the date of the determination, after giving the parties the opportunity to request that confidential information be removed from the published version. Competition watchdogs block Uniphar takeover of Navi Group

Fry Electronics Team

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