The State’s competition watchdog has blocked healthcare-services group Uniphar’s proposed acquisition of pharmacy group NaviCorp Limited.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said that the proposed acquisition would “substantially lessen competition” in markets for certain services.
This proposed acquisition was notified to the CCPC in December 2021.
As part of the deal, Uniphar would have acquired sole control of NaviCorp Limited and its subsidiaries, which include Thera Pharmaceuticals Limited, CarePlus Pharmacy DAC, TouchPlus Technologies Limited, and Pembroke Healthcare Limited.
After completing its probe, the watchdog has decided that the proposed deal would affect competition in two areas:
- The provision of ‘buying-group’ services in the State, and
- The provision of common management and branding (CMB) services in the State.
The CCPC said that buying groups, in the context of the proposed deal, were businesses or groups who negotiated, on behalf of their member pharmacies, discounts and supply terms with multiple suppliers of pharmaceutical products – including manufacturers and wholesalers.
Common management and branding (CMB) services are provided by pharmacy symbol or franchise groups.
Such services always include common branding, and may also include services such as store design, marketing, business intelligence and reporting, procurement, HR management, IT management, and accounting.