Supermarket chain Ica to buy Apotek pharmacies

Swedish grocery store chain Ica is buying pharmacy group Apotek Hjärtat, in a 5.7 billion kronor ($770 million) deal.

Supermarket chain Ica to buy Apotek pharmacies
Ica is set to buy Apotek Hjärtat in Sweden. Photo: TT
Ica already runs the pharmacy chain Cura and the new acquisition will make it the second largest player in the Swedish pharmacy market, with annual sales of about 11 billion kronor ($1.48 billion) and a market share of around 30 percent.
"With the acquisition of Apotek Hjärtat, a well-managed company with a strong brand, we increase the scale of this business and see significant opportunities and synergies," said Ica Group CEO Per Strömberg in a statement.
“We can now provide customers with an even better and more comprehensive product offering within health, medicine and wellbeing, with high standards on safe and effective medication. The transaction benefits Ica’s and Apotek Hjärtat’s customers as well as Ica Gruppen’s shareholders”, he added.
The CEO also noted there were long term plans to create a central office for staff working across the Ica group.

Ica is one of Sweden's largest supermarket chains. Photo: ICA

The deal is subject to approval from the Swedish Competition Authority, which is expected by April 2015 at the latest.
Once completed, the acquisition is expected to generate annual cost synergies to ICA Gruppen of around SEK 80m ($10.8m) from 2019. 
Last month Ica has announced it was selling its Norwegian operations to Coop Norway as part of a 2.8 billion kronor ($385.2m) deal.

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