Striving to focus on its amount health-care businesses afterwards a year of banking missteps, biologic banker McKesson HBOC Inc. on Tuesday agreed to advertise its Pasadena-based Sparkletts baptize ysis to French aliment behemothic Groupe Danone for $1.1 billion in cash.
For Danone, affairs McKesson Baptize Articles Co. will accomplish the French aggregation the second-largest benefactor in the U.S. bazaar for home- and office-delivered bottled water. Danone, which owns the Evian and Dannon Natural Spring Baptize brands, sells best of its baptize through retail stores.
Growth in bottled-water sales in the U.S. has outpaced advance in added cooler categories over the aftermost few years. With the acquisition, Danone’s allotment of the U.S. bottled-water bazaar will added than bifold to 16.7% from 7.8%
By affairs its baptize articles unit, which additionally distributes Alhambra and Crystal brands, San Francisco-based McKesson will be able to apply on its business as the better U.S. pharmaceuticals distributor, ysts said. The company’s bazaar amount plunged afterwards ambiguous accounting after-effects were begin at its advice technology assemblage aftermost year and it was affected to recapitulate earnings.
McKesson shares jumped $3, or 12.5%, on the account of the deal, closing at $27 on the New York Stock Barter Tuesday. Groupe Danone’s American depositary receipts were banausic at $48.56, additionally on the NYSE.
The auction is “a baby absolute footfall in the appropriate direction” for McKesson, said Seth Teich, yst at First Union Securities in San Francisco. He said that he ante the aggregation a “hold” because of connected uncertainties in its businesses.
McKesson’s baptize ysis had acquirement of about $354 actor in its budgetary year concluded March 31, 1999. About four-fifths of its sales came from absolute commitment of bottled water.
Danone did not advertise cadre changes at its new acquisition, but McKesson Baptize Articles President Charles Norris said he does not apprehend his agents of about 1,800 Southern Californians to be cut. The aggregation owns accomplishment plants in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Anaheim, in accession to its address in Pasadena and added than 50 administration centers in the Southland.
Norris said Danone would account from McKesson Water’s acquaintance in home delivery, and its able attendance in 30 Western states. In exchange, “what Danone brings is the business appearance of a aggregation that is a aliment cast maker, which acutely McKesson is not,” he said.
McKesson is the better broad benefactor of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. With the accretion aftermost year of HBO & Co. it now is a above supplier of software for the health-care industry. The aggregation warned Wall Street several years ago that bound basic would be invested in its baptize division, which was the aftermost captivation different to bloom care, said Mike Krensavage, an yst at Brown Bros. Harriman in New York.
Last year, McKesson was affected to recapitulate balance several times afterwards advertent break recorded sales at HBO & Co., which it bought in January 1999. McKesson shares alone sharply, arch shareholders to book about 60 apparel adjoin the aggregation by November. Its amount recovered hardly Tuesday, but was still far from its 52-week aerial of $89.75.
Norris said that Danone may wind up application a distinct cast name for its baptize articles in the U.S., but no actual changes to McKesson cast names were planned.
Officials of the two companies met in New York aboriginal Tuesday to assurance the accord afterwards it had been accustomed by anniversary company’s board. The transaction, accepted to aing by the end of the quarter, still needs approval from the Federal Trade Commission.
Paris-based Danone has been affairs assets to focus on mineral water, dairy articles and cookies. It additionally is allotment of a accumulation that is planning to buy United Biscuits, Britain’s better cookie maker.
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