Ebos in $700 Million Takeover to Grow Australian Drugs Business

Ebos Group Ltd. will become the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in Australia and New Zealand after agreeing a NZ$865 million ($700 million) takeover of Australia’s Symbion Ltd.

Ebos will raise NZ$367 million in cash and issue NZ$498 million of shares to The Zuellig Group Inc., which owns Symbion, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Ebos shares are halted while an institutional share placement to raise NZ$90 million is conducted, while a 7-for-20 rights offer is also proposed.

Zuellig will become a 40 percent shareholder in the enlarged company, which will have forecast revenue of NZ$6.3 billion, based on pro-forma financial information contained in the statement. That will make it the third-largest company by sales in New Zealand. Ebos shares will be listed in Australia as the company looks to expand in the nation with a population more than five times that of New Zealand.

“We are bringing together two businesses that are very well matched geographically and operationally and are leaders in their segments in their respective markets,” Ebos Managing Director Mark Waller said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

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