Medical-products and services provider McKesson ( MCK) reached a deal to sell its automated prescription-systems business to privately held firm Parata Systems.

McKesson's automated prescription-systems unit makes software that helps retail pharmacies improve patient safety and operate more efficiently. McKesson said charges associated with the transaction will probably cut its earnings by about 4 cents a share. The company expects to close the sale in the fiscal first quarter.

The companies also signed a long-term pact under which McKesson will become the sole outside distributor for all Parata products in North America. McKesson will become a significant minority investor in Parata and get two seats on its board. McKesson's high-volume solutions and pharmacy-systems business weren't included in the transaction.

Parata Systems is based in Durham, N.C., and was founded in 2001.

Shares of McKesson were down 48 cents, or 1%, at $48.26.

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