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Galenica acquires Sun Store

(PresseBox) (Bern, ) Galenica is acquiring the Sun Store pharmacy chain, which was founded by entrepreneur Marcel Séverin and operates 100 shops throughout Switzerland. After Galenica acquired the Canadian company Aspreva in 2008, adding a new pharmaceutical and international dimension to Vifor Pharma, the Group is taking advantage of a unique opportunity to accelerate its growth in the Swiss pharmacy sector. This acquisition confirms Galenica's strategy of growth and risk diversification. By expanding to 250 pharmacies, the acquisition of Sun Store will enable the Health Division to expand its leadership status in a market currently characterised by consolidation. The move will have a positive financial impact from 2009.

Sun Store - Switzerland's first pharmacy chain

Businessman Marcel Séverin, 65, President and General Director, founded Switzerland's first pharmacy chain in 1972. Initially, the chain grew mostly in western Switzerland; from 2004, it also underwent an intensive growth phase in the German-speaking part of the country. The chain, which opened its 100th pharmacy at the end of 2008, is well known, particularly in shopping centres and cities with high customer traffic. The pharmacies generally cover up to 600 m², enough space to offer a wide range of beauty, wellness and healthcare products in an attractive, customer-friendly setting.

The company has a staff of some 1,780 and achieved sales of almost CHF 400 million in 2008.

Sun Store owes its success to Marcel Séverin's business acumen and proactive spirit. Sun Store is a reliable, profitable and well conducted company. Galenica is pleased to acquire this company, which had been wholly owned by its founder.

An acquisition with great strategic and financial impact

The acquisition of Aspreva in 2008 enabled the Pharma Division to incorporate Vifor Pharma, and to expand and diversify its pharmaceutical revenues at international level. Galenica's top priority remains, as planned, to continue with the growth of Vifor Pharma as strategic pillar. The acquisition of Sun Store is a unique opportunity and will stimulate the growth of the Health Division.

It will also allow Galenica to build up its strategic Pharma and Health Divisions as independent but complementary business entities. Separate management of these units is not planned. The strategy of growth and leverage, which the Group has followed since 1995, continues to generate profits while providing stability and strength, which is of particular relevance given the current state of the global economy.

From a strategic standpoint, the acquisition of Sun Store will add the critical mass Galenica's Retail business sector needs while maximising the use of the Group's logistics capacities, particularly at the new distribution centre in Niederbipp. Moreover, Triamun is also forging ahead with the development of its software applications; Sun Store is already its largest external client. Synergies with other Group companies, such as Vifor Pharma, can also be harnessed. Sun Store complements the Galenica Group extremely well in terms of locations and calibre.

The entire transaction is being financed with the Group's internal resources plus a very attractive external financing package guaranteed for ten years. The acquisition will already enhance the Group's results in 2009. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the transaction. Pending approval by the Competition Commission, the acquisition will take effect as from 1 July 2009.

The identity of Sun Store within the Galenica Group will be preserved

As agreed with the owner, Marcel Séverin, Sun Store will maintain its identity on the market, which is of particular importance because this pharmacy chain is the best known of its kind in Switzerland. Marcel Séverin will retire from operational management on 1 July. He will continue to be Chairman of Sun Store SA to ensure a smooth transition, particularly with regard to plans for expansion. The chain's commercial independence and management infrastructure, based at St. Sulpice, are guaranteed and all jobs and employment conditions will be maintained. The companies also intend to complement one another by sharing their high level of expertise, primarily in the areas of service quality, quality control, patient services and communication.

Galenica increases cooperation with independent partners

For many years, the healthcare and pharmaceuticals markets have been subject to heavy price and margin pressure from official agencies and health insurers. As a result, the industry has undergone a great deal of concentration over the last ten years. Galenica is confident that its cooperation with independent market players, pharmacists, doctors, druggists and hospitals can help establish networks; these in turn will be supported by technologies and services tailored to clients and patients while going a long way in keeping healthcare costs down. Galenica's client partners will therefore profit directly and indirectly from the new services the Group plans to offer. Galenica's Retail business sector intends to maintain leadership status in market services, quality patient services, home deliveries and general innovation. Sun Store offers 37 years of extensive experience that entails quality customer service and cooperation with health insurers as well as a strong ethos in meeting consumers' needs.

For more information about these events, Galenica and Sun Store
invite the media to a joint conference on 3 March 2009,
Time: 10.30 a.m.
Place: Hotel Alpha-Palmiers
Rue du Petit Chêne 34
1003 Lausanne
approx. 2 minutes' walk from the SBB railway station

About Galenica AG

Galenica is a diversified group active throughout the healthcare market which, among other things, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products, runs pharmacies, provides logistical and database services and sets up networks. The Galenica Group enjoys a leading position in all its business sectors - Vifor Pharma, Logistics, HealthCare Information and Retail. A large part of the Group's income is generated by international operations.

Additional information concerning the Galenica Group can be found at www.galenica.com.

Sun Store SA, headquartered in St. Sulpice, is a Swiss retail pharmacy chain. It operates more than 100 speciality health stores, pharmacies, drugstores and perfumeries. The company has a staff of some 1,780 and in 2008 achieved sales of almost CHF 400 millions. Founded in 1972 by Marcel Séverin, the company opened its first shop in Sion and later expanded throughout western Switzerland. Since 2004, Sun Store has gradually expanded to German-speaking areas of Switzerland with 20 new locations.

For more information on Sun Store visit www.sunstore.ch.

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