Cardinal Health Acquires Generics Firm Harvard Drug Group for $1.12B

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Cardinal Health (CAH) said Friday it is buying Harvard Drug Group for $1.12 billion in cash and debt.

Harvard Drug, which was owned by private equity house Court Square Capital Partners since 2010, is a distributor of generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and related products. The Livonia, Mich.-based company had revenues of around $450 million in 2014, according to a statement announcing the deal. Industry bankers had previously noted that Harvard Drug retained an adviser to explore a sale during the spring of 2014.

Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal expects earnings accretion of over 15 cents per share in fiscal 2016, net of the 3 cents to 4 cents per share of interest expense. The acquisition will help to enhance Cardinal's generic pharmaceutical distribution business as well as telesales programs and will broaden the company's portfolio of over the counter products.

Shares of Cardinal recently fell 0.5% to $87.20, up 8% for the year to date.

Cardinal has been on the acquisition trail, acquiring cardiac device business Cordis from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for $1.9 billion in March of this year. Last April, Cardinal acquired privately held medical device maker Access Closure for $320 million in cash. Cardinal has a market capitalization of $28.83 billion.

"The Harvard Drug Group aligns perfectly with our commitment to provide the most comprehensive line of pharmaceutical products for the broadest range of customers," said Cardinal Chairman and CEO George Barrett, in a statement. "This acquisition enhances our ability to support retail and institutional customers and further utilizes Red Oak, our joint venture with CVS Health to source generics."

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