Mckesson Canada announces offer to acquire the Uniprix Group - Transaction will strengthen longstanding business relationship



    MONTREAL, Jan. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - McKesson Canada announced today that it
has offered to acquire all outstanding shares of Uniprix Inc. which owns and
operates the Uniprix, Unipharm and Uniclinique banners. This transaction is
subject to various closing conditions, including review and approval by the
Competition Bureau of Canada and the consent of Uniprix's shareholders holding
a majority of the outstanding shares. If the conditions to the offer are
satisfied, McKesson Canada proposes to acquire the shares of Uniprix Inc.
tendered into the offer, while member-pharmacists would remain owners of their
pharmacies. The proposed transaction will therefore have no impact on the
autonomy of pharmacists or their professional responsibilities.
    "McKesson Canada is enthusiastic about the prospect of this transaction,
which will strengthen our longstanding business relationship with the Uniprix
Group for the distribution of pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter
medications, and consumer products," says Domenic Pilla, President, McKesson
Canada. "We believe that if our offer is supported by the shareholders and
approved by the regulatory bodies it will benefit the Uniprix Group's
independent member-pharmacists through enhanced product and service offerings
to customers, while bringing increased financial flexibility to the banners
and sustaining its network of independent pharmacy owners".
    François Castonguay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Uniprix,
added "The business relationship between McKesson Canada and the Uniprix Group
dates back nearly three decades, when McKesson Canada began providing
distribution services. In addition, McKesson Canada also warehouses and
distributes the Uniprix Group's private label products, notably Option Plus.
Both companies have a longstanding presence in Quebec and strong commitments
to their communities, which makes this a natural partnership" .

    About Uniprix

    Founded in 1977, Uniprix Inc. is the most important grouping of
pharmacist owners and the second largest chain of retail drugstores in Quebec.
Uniprix offers its services to a network of approximately 400 outlets. Year
after year, Uniprix ranks as one of the companies most admired by Quebecers,
according to Commerce magazine. For further information, please visit:
www.uniprix.com

    About McKesson Canada

    Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson Canada is the leading provider
of logistics as well as information products and services within the Canadian
health care marketplace. McKesson Canada carries more than 35,000 products, in
17 distribution centers, and provides logistics and distribution to more than
800 manufacturers - delivering their products to 6,300 retail pharmacies,
1,350 hospitals, long-term care centers, clinics and institutions throughout
Canada. Beyond pharmaceutical distribution, McKesson Canada has provided
automation services for 2,500 retail pharmacies; and is also active in
hospital automation solutions, dispensing more than 100 million doses each
year. The company also provides a full range of services to Canadian
manufacturers and healthcare providers, contributing to the quality and safety
of care for Canadian patients.




For further information:

For further information: McKesson Canada: Line Chapdelaine, Director,
Corporate Communications, McKesson Canada, (514) 832-8480,
line.chapdelaine@mckesson.ca, www.mckesson.ca; McKesson Corporation: James
Larkin, Director, Corporate Public Relations, McKesson Corporation, (415)
983-8736, james.larkin@mckesson.com, www.mckesson.com; Ana Schrank, Vice
President, Investor Relations, McKesson Corporation, (415) 983-7153,
ana.schrank@mckesson.com, www.mckesson.com; Uniprix: Pierre Gince, President,
DIRECTION Strategic Communications, Office: (514) 284-2860, extension 1,
Mobile: (514) 773.2860, pgince@direction.qc.ca

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McKesson Canada

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