TAS Group of Sergiy Tigipko to Acquire Kosmo Pharmacy Chain

TAS Group of Sergiy Tigipko to Acquire Kosmo Pharmacy Chain

The TAS Group’s pharmaceutical division, TAS Pharma, has agreed to acquire the Kosmo retail chain’s pharmacy business, currently controlled by Texas-based private equity firm SigmaBleyzer

The deal includes 28 pharmacies in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast. The value of the deal wasn’t immediately available.

TAS hopes to conclude the acquisition by the first quarter of 2019, pending approval by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

“Along with the network of pharmacies, we also acquired the personnel and technology that enabled Kosmo pharmacies to have the best efficiency growth in the industry,” Valeriy Gudzenko, general director of TAS Pharma, said in a press statement. “We are optimistic about expanding this experience and technology across the entire TAS pharmacy network.”

Currently, the TAS Group owns 114 pharmacies, including 71 located in Kyiv, and expects the pharmaceutical market to grow throughout 2019. TAS Pharma plans to own 400-500 pharmacy outlets by 2021.

Kosmo’s general director, Georgy Sheiko, said that the chain will focus on developing its retail business. Currently, the company’s locations serve a combined 1 million Ukrainian customers.

“TAS Group’s appreciation of the best technology in the retail business served as the main driver of our decision to sell our pharmaceutical business,” Sheiko said in a statement. Atlas Advisors, an investment banking firm, advised Kosmo on the deal.

For the past year, Kosmo has been involved in negotiations to sell some of its retail chain. Dnipro-based Style D Ltd. was one of the potential buyers as of October 2018. According to media reports, that deal may have been valued at $15 million.

TAS Pharma launched and acquired its first stores in May 2008.

In recent years, TAS founder and principal shareholder Sergiy Tigipko has been buying up many diverse assets. He recently made news by moving to acquire the Rybalska Kuznya shipyard from Prime Assets Capital, owned by President Petro Poroshenko. He also bought Sberbank subsidiary VES Bank, $43 million in liabilities of the defunct DiamantBank, and two factories from Russian investors this year.

Tigipko is a former politician and ex-ally of fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych.

According to market research company Business Credit, the monetary value of pharmacy sales across Ukraine grew by 28 percent to Hr 68.7 billion ($2.5 billion) between January and October 2018. The volume of sold products remained constant.

The Ukrainian pharmacy market is rife with oligopolies, leading to higher prices for many commonly-used medicines.

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