Romania's competition body OKs another takeover by Help Net pharmacy chain
Romania’s Competition Council authorized the transactions by which Help Net Farma, one of the biggest local drug store networks, part of the German Phoenix group, will take over eight pharmacies owned by local player Tri Farm, as well as the entire company Ecofarmacia Network that operate a 33-pharmacy chain, the competition authority announced on Thursday, March 12.
This comes after an even bigger expansion operated by Help Net at the end of last year. Romania’s Competition Council approved on October 29 the acquisition of three smaller local drug store chains, Tinos Farm, Flora Farm and Proxi-Pharm, by Help Net Farma. Help Net thus added 33 more units to its network.
As regards the new pharmacies to be added this year, out of the eight Tri Farm pharmacies to be taken over by Help Net, seven are located in Constanţa and one in Râmnicu Sărat. The Ecofarmacia Network operates 33 pharmacies located in the center of Transylvania, through which it retails pharmaceutical and parapharmaceutical products.
Following the analysis, the Competition Council found that these two operations do not raise significant obstacles to effective competition on the Romanian market or on a part of it and that there are no serious doubts about their compatibility with a normal competitive environment.
In February this year, Help Net also reached an agreement to buy 52 pharmacies from local drug distributor Farmaceutica Remedia Deva for EUR 8.5 mln. The transaction hasn’t been analyzed by the Competition Council yet.
German group Phoenix bought the Farmexim drug distribution company and the Help Net pharmaceutical retail network (including over 200 pharmacies at that time) from Romanian investor Ovidiu Buluc in early 2018. The group operates on 26 European markets and has over 34,000 employees. The group’s turnover amounts to over EUR 24 billion per year.
(Photo source: the company)