Pharmaceutical Distributor Bids for Canadian Drug Store Chain

San Francisco North American pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. said Monday it has offered to buy Montreal-based drug store chain operator Uniprix Inc.

The news comes six months after the McKesson’s Canadian unit bought another Quebec-based pharmacy chain and also was reported to be in advanced talks to buy Uniprix.

Uniprix, which also operates under the Unipharm and Uniclinique banners, has approximately 400 outlets in Quebec and annual sales of about $1.6 billion.

McKesson did not disclose the price it is offering, but said in a news release that the deal would involve it purchasing all Uniprix's outstanding shares, while leaving member-pharmacists as the owners of their stores.

Last July, McKesson Canada bought Groupe PharmEssor Inc., owner of the Proxim and ProxiMeds brands, which has 250 independently owned locations in the province.