Stock Exchange Release
1 July 2002 at 1.00 p.m.
The deal agreed by Orion Corporation in April 2002 concerning the acquisition of the majority ownership in the Kronans Droghandel AB (KD), a Swedish pharmaceutical distributor, has been closed to be effective as of today, 1 July 2002. The transaction comprises the stakes previously held in KD by Ratos AB and 3i Group Plc, representing altogether 58.3% of the total KD share stock. The closing price of the transaction came to 59.7 million euros. Orion's ownership of KD rose to about 69%, including the 10.6% stake which Orion already held in KD. A stock exchange release was published about the agreement on 12 April 2002.
In consequence of the transaction Orion will strengthen its position in the pharmaceutical distribution in Sweden and Finland considerably. In 2001, the current market share of Kronans Droghandel in Sweden is 48% and 22% in Finland. The market share of Oriola Oy, a pharmaceutical distributor and wholesaler wholly owned by Orion Corporation, recently rose to 37% in Finland. Oriola has pharmaceutical distribution operations also in the Baltic countries and pre-wholesaling of pharmaceuticals via Finland to Russia.
Another consequence of the deal is that wholesale and distribution becomes the biggest business unit of the Orion Group in terms of net sales and volume. The core business area of the Group is the Orion Pharma division, upon which the Group is building its long-term strategy based on new proprietary medicines and the related earnings potential.
Oriola Oy and Kronans Droghandel AB will constitute a new business division within the Orion Group under the name Wholesale and Distribution, within which the strengths and the synergies of the two companies will be utilised as efficiently as possible. The companies will continue to operate as independent companies on the market, however. The Distribution & Wholesale division will be headed by Pauli Torkko, Executive Vice President, as of 1 September 2002.
In its Interim Report 1-6/2002, to be published on 6 August 2002, Orion Corporation will provide the goodwill value included in the now acquired KD shares, based on the interim closing of the books of KD on 30 June 2002.