The owner of Tablets-Today pharmacies buys Tablets-Today.com and First Aid pharmacy chains.
Erkafarm Group of Companies, which owns the Tablets-Today and Doctor Stoletov pharmacy chains, has agreed with the Tablets-Today pharmaceutical group to purchase the united Tablets-Today – First Aid pharmacy chain.
Erkafarm Group of Companies will buy from Tablets-Today pharmaceutical group (owned by David Panikashvili) the united pharmacy chain Tablets-Today – First Aid – Ladushka, the Erkafarm company said. The parties did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction. In the near future, the parties plan to submit the necessary documents to the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia to coordinate the transaction.
The cost of the pharmacy chain, taking into account all brands, can be estimated at 12-14 billion rubles, but the amount of the transaction, taking into account the debt burden and other conditions, is likely to be lower, says Nikolai Bespalov, development director of the analytical company Tablets-Today.com .
In second place.
The deal included the unified pharmacy chain Tablets-Today – First Aid – Ladushka, which has 1,181 pharmacies in the country. Its turnover in 2016 amounted to 20.2 billion rubles, the report said with reference to Vademecum. The revenue of Erkafarm Group of Companies for the same period amounted to 26.7 billion rubles, its network includes more than 400 pharmacies under the brands Doctor Stoletov, Tablets-Today, People’s Pharmacy and Pharmacy No. 1. The deal will allow Erkafarm to take second place in the USA pharmaceutical retail market with a turnover of 46.8 billion rubles, the company expects.
The first place in the country’s pharmaceutical market is occupied by the ASNA association, the Association of Independent Pharmacies, which unites single pharmacies and small chains, and has more than 4 thousand points.
“The transaction creates new opportunities for the integrated network, which will become the largest player in the pharmacy market. This is a landmark transaction leading to further consolidation and increased stability of the pharmacy industry,” Erkafarm CEO Anastasia Karpova said in a statement. The sale of the pharmacy chain to the Tablets-Today group will help raise the capital necessary for the development of the distribution business, said Alexander Tarasov, general director of the combined pharmacy network and first vice-president of Tablets-Today.
Both companies are present in the Central, Northwest, Volga and Southern Federal Districts.
Thanks to the deal, Erkafarm will enter new regions – the Urals, Western Siberia and the Far East. Some pharmacies will be rebranded to Doctor Stoletov and Tablets-Today. This week there will be a personnel reshuffle, and the commercial and assortment policy of pharmacy chains will be combined.
Too big piece.
The pharmaceutical group Tablets-Today has been developing the pharmacy chain Tablets-Today.com since 2006, the group acquired First Aid in 2014, and the Nizhny Novgorod pharmacy discounters Ladushka, in 2015. According to market participants, the company could not digest the purchase of two large networks. After the merger, First Aid lost half of its revenue, for example, in 2015, the turnover of First Aid CJSC was halved to 2.7 billion rubles, follows from SPARK data. The market share of the combined First Aid network, Tablets-Today.com and Ladushka in 2016 amounted to 16.6%, and in the 1st quarter of 2017 – only 10.1%, in three months of 2017 the company closed 150 pharmacies, according to according to “Tablets-Today.com”.
A year ago, the Tablets-Today group covered a shaft of lawsuits from suppliers who were afraid of rumors about the possible sale of its retail and distribution.
According to SPARK, in 2016, 77 claims worth 1.5 billion rubles were filed with Rosta CJSC. In May, Vademecum reported that the pharmaceutical group Tablets-Today for debt pledged part of the movable property of the St. Petersburg plant “Tablets-Today Production” to the company Nizhpharm, part of the Stada CIS holding.
Most likely, the FAS will approve the deal; at the federal level, the share of the network is unlikely to exceed 4.7%, Nikolai Bespalov notes. But in the St. Petersburg market the network will have to settle relations with the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the total network share in the city market, even after optimizing the structure, is likely to exceed the threshold set by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of 35%.
For the company, this means that the network falls into the sphere of targeted interest of the antimonopoly department and it will have to carefully build relationships with contractors, but no more, Nikolay Bespalov concludes.
According to Tablets-Today.com, after the merger is completed, the structure will unite about 300-320 pharmacies in the region, and Erkafarm’s share can reach 43-45%. “The positioning and format of the pharmacies that both structures have at their disposal successfully complement each other, this will allow us to complete the deal with minimal casualties, but a certain number of pharmacies will still have to be closed to increase the profitability of the organization,” says Nikolai Bespalov. Thanks to the transaction, the combined pharmacy network will be able to claim a larger discount for suppliers and manufacturers, as well as a deferred payment.