US drug distributor AmerisourceBergen to buy H D Smith for $815 mn

US drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp yesterday struck a deal to buy privately-held drug wholesaler H. D. Smith for $815 million in cash.

AmerisourceBergen plans to fund the acquisition through the issuance of new long-term debt.

The transaction is subject to regulatory review and other closing conditions and is expected to close in early 2018.

Founded in 1954, Illinois-based H D Smith is the largest, privately-held national wholesaler, with a complete line of healthcare products and solutions for patient care.

It provides full-line distribution of brand, generic and specialty drugs, as well as high-value services and solutions for manufacturers and healthcare providers.

The company also operates CompleteCare Pharmacy, Smith Medical Partners, Triplefin and Valley Wholesale Drug and has 10 distribution centers across the country.

The US Federal Trade Commission is likely to scrutinise the deal since HD Smith is the fifth-largest drug wholesaler.

AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health control about 85 per cent of the market.

''This acquisition also builds upon our foundation and meaningfully expands our support for independent community pharmacies,'' said Steven Collis, chairman and CEO of AmerisourceBergen.

''Our ultimate priority and commitment has been, and continues to be, the needs of our customers and trading partners,'' said Dale Smith, chairman and CEO, H. D. Smith Holding Company.

''We remain proud of our contributions to improve healthcare across the country, and we are honored to have supported the success of community healthcare providers and our manufacturer partners. We believe AmerisourceBergen will continue the strong foundation set by my father. In joining AmerisourceBergen, we are confident our mission will continue, and remain a point of pride for the H. D. Smith family and its enduring legacy,'' he added.

Pennsylvania-based AmerisourceBergen provides pharmaceutical products and business solutions to improve access to care.

It employs around 20,000 people and is ranked #11 on the Fortune 500, with more than $150 billion in annual revenue.