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Lloyds purchase of McCabes Pharmacy gets green light

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The deal was first announced in October last year and the financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed at the time.

LloydsPharmacy, which is ultimately owned by German healthcare group Phoenix, owns 82 pharmacies across the country, while family-owned McCabes operates 31 pharmacies which are mainly based around Dublin.

The CCPC pointed to concerns during the investigation regarding levels of competition in the Lucan area of Dublin.

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As a result, LloydsPharmacy has agreed to sell two McCabes locations in Lucan to a buyer who will be approved by the competition watchdog.

LloydsPharmacy has also agreed not to do anything which could “negatively impact on the pharmacies” prior to any potential sale. It has also made an agreement not to buy back these locations for at least a decade.

Following these commitments, the CCPC has approved the deal. It will now appoint an independent monitoring trustee to ensure that LloydsPharmacy complies with the agreement.

The LloydsPharmacy chain was sold last year by McKesson Europe to Phoenix as part of a wider sale of European assets. This purchase also included Irish pharmaceutical wholesaler and distributor United Drug, as well as TCP Homecare.

The latest set of publicly-available accounts for LloydsPharmacy show that it generated sales of €144.6m in the year to the end of March 2022, up from €135m the prior year.

Like-for-like sales were 7pc higher.

In the 2022 financial year, it also posted an operating profit of €3.1m compared to a €345,000 loss the previous year.

Accounts for the holding company behind McCabes, called Kalamunda, reported that the group’s 2022 sales hit €64.1m, rising from €58m in 2021.

The pharmacy chain had an operating profit of €1.5m in 2022 compared to a €1.2m profit the year before.

The purchase of McCabes is the latest deal in the Irish pharmacy sector.

Last year, Uniphar agreed to sell three pharmacies in counties Kildare, Meath and Wexford in order to secure regulatory approval for its takeover of the 37 outlets of the Sam McCauley chain. This deal was worth around €50m, Uniphar reported at the time.

Uniphar also purchased the Hickeys pharmacy chain in 2020. This deal included 36 pharmacies.

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