US pharma giant buys Germany's Celesio in $8-bn deal

US pharmaceutical distributor McKesson on Thursday announced the purchase of German rival Celesio in a deal valued at more than $8 billion.

The combined company "will be one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers and providers of logistics and services in the worldwide," the German firm said in a statement.

The total transaction, including McKesson's takeover of Celesio's outstanding debt is valued at approximately $8.3 billion (6.3 billion euros, the statement added.

Both firms will keep their own separate brands.

The combined firm is expected to have annual revenue of more than $150 billion, employing some 81,500 people in 20 countries worldwide.

Earlier in the month, shares in McKesson rose sharply after the Wall Street Journal reported news of the buy-out.

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