U.S. firm launches bid to buy German group


BERLIN — U.S. pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. has launched an $8.3 billion takeover offer for German competitor Celesio AG.

McKesson signed an agreement Thursday with German company Haniel to acquire its 50.01 percent stake in Celesio and is making an offer to other shareholders at $31.74 a share. The offer represents a 5.8 percent premium to Celesio’s closing share price on Wednesday.

San Francisco-based McKesson is also assuming Celesio’s debt, lifting the value of the deal up to $8.3 billion.