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Home  »   PDA UnionLatest News   »   PDA responds to announcement that Aurelius will acquire McKesson UK

PDA responds to announcement that Aurelius will acquire McKesson UK

It has been confirmed that private equity business AURELIUS has agreed an acquisition of McKesson UK from the McKesson Corporation for £477M in what will be the largest transaction undertaken by AURELIUS since being established in 2005.

Tue 2nd November 2021 The PDA

The sale of the McKesson UK group has been announced today, with the news that the US-based McKesson Corporation has reached an agreement to sell its UK business to AURELIUS. This sale includes LloydsPharmacy, LloydsDirect (previously Echo by LloydsPharmacy), Online Doctor, AAH Pharmaceuticals (including Trident, Enterprise and AAH Sangers), LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare, MASTA and John Bell & Croyden.

AURELIUS is a pan-European investor that already owns a range of other businesses, and this will reposition what was McKesson UK as a standalone UK-based company, owned by AURELIUS, rather than part of a larger European/global corporation as it has been as part of McKesson. As is usual in a transaction of this type the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

McKesson has stated that the existing executive leadership team will remain fully in place and that this transaction will provide the opportunity for new investment in the business that will enable a renewed focus on UK patients and partners such as the NHS.

The PDA Union has trade union recognition rights for pharmacists at the company. Under that agreement, the PDA Union negotiate terms and conditions for store-based pharmacists as well as being a key partner on topics such as Health and Safety. This activity will proceed as normal until the acquisition takes effect and will continue once the new owners are in place too. This means that there will be no change to the recognition agreement.

PDA Director, Paul Day said, “Pharmacists at LloydsPharmacy have known for some time that the business was for sale and we hope that today’s announcement starts to bring more certainty about the future of the business. Pharmacists employed by McKesson UK companies are an incredible asset to the new owners, and we encourage them to invest in pharmacy and realise the value in utilising their workforce to its full potential as the most available part of the NHS, embedded in the heart of the community.

The nature of acquisitions is that the purchasers believe they can get extra value from the business and the fear of acquisitions, especially by private equity is that this is attempted through cuts and closures. However, an alternative strategy is to invest and improve and the PDA hopes to work positively with LloydsPharmacy management to improve the operations of LloydsPharmacy so that well-resourced, well-managed branches can bring AURELIUS the profits they need while simultaneously improving the experience of pharmacists and patients.

The PDA Union will continue to act in the interests of our members and will be supporting them to exercise their rights at work whatever decisions and actions are implemented by LloydsPharmacy management, whether that is as part of the McKesson group or as a standalone business owned by AURELIUS.”

The PDA team includes experts in employment law so they can help with a wide range of possible changes that could emerge from this sale. Trade unions can generally only give legal advice to members and pharmacists are therefore encouraged to join the PDA Union and similarly, the PDA encourages other members of the LloydsPharmacy store team to join an appropriate union for them.

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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