Movianto, the pharmaceuticals logistics provider, is being sold for 130m euros (£101m) to US group Owens & Minor by its parent company Celesio.
Owens & Minor has a third party logistics service in the US but no European operations. It plans to integrate the two businesses, but keep the Movianto teams and logistics centres located across Europe intact.
In the UK, Movianto is responsible for handling more than one million items a day – representing about 40 per cent of domestics pharmaceutical products. UK operations are based in Bedford with three warehouses in Bedford, Knowsley and High Wycombe as well as five transhipment centres in Avonmouth, Cambridge, Carluke, Kingswinford and York.
The UK business traded as Healthcare Logistics for about 30 years before being renamed Movianto UK in 2007.
German pharmaceuticals group Celesio has owned Movianto since 2004, but in October last year announced that it would focus consistently on the core business with pharmaceutical wholesale and pharmacies, which accounts for more than 95 per cent of the group business.
Movianto operates in 14 countries across Europe and employs some 1,800 people.
“The intended acquisition of Movianto provides Owens & Minor with a premier European healthcare logistics franchise, enabling us to significantly expand our existing third-party logistics presence and scale,” said Craig R Smith, president and chief executive officer of Owens & Minor.
“Our manufacturer partners have increasingly expressed interest in working with Owens & Minor on a global basis, and Movianto provides us with an exceptional platform in Europe. Owens & Minor looks forward to working with the Movianto and Celesio teams to serve customers and create long-term value.”
Celesio and Owens & Minor intend to explore projects in distribution and logistics in the healthcare markets.
Celesio CEO Markus Pinger said: “We are about to sell Movianto more swiftly than originally planned. We can combine this with the opportunity to pursue partnerships with Owens & Minor, a leading US company. We are implementing our new strategy with great consequence and step by step. The decision to sell is mainly driven by the buyer’s reputation for quality and integrity, thus defending the best interest of the Movianto employees. With Owens & Minor, we have found a potential investor who will drive Movianto’s successful development, offering new prospects. This is an all-round positive solution for all parties concerned.”