Stuttgart – Company founder Heinz-Peter Fichter and other shareholders have sold the mail-order business of online pharmacy Apotal and its diabetes division to the listed Zur Rose Group of Switzerland. Specifically, the deal covers mail-order sale of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, health and beauty products and diabetes-related mail-order operations. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The transaction is currently awaiting approval from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.
A CMS team headed by lead partner Dr Christoph Lächler advised the founder of the Apotal Group, Heinz-Peter Fichter, and other shareholders on all legal aspects of the sales process. The particular challenge was structuring the transaction in compliance with pharmacy law.
Apotal, which is based in Bad Rothenfelde, was established in 1980 by Heinz-Peter Fichter and is now one of the best known and largest pharmacy brands in Germany. The firm has also built up a market-leading network focusing on diabetes patients, offering a wide range of products and services related to this chronic disease. In recent years, Apotal has grown annually in the high single-digit percentage range, while also achieving positive EBITDA. With the 1.1 million additional Apotal customers, the Zur Rose Group is increasing its lead over its nearest rival in Europe by 50%.
The Switzerland-based Zur Rose Group is Europe’s largest e-commerce pharmacy and a leading medical wholesaler in Switzerland. It also operates the leading marketplace in southern Europe for health and hygiene products customarily sold in a pharmacy. The company has an international presence with strong brands, including Germany’s best-known pharmacy brand DocMorris. Zur Rose employs more than 1,800 people across its locations in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and France. In 2019, it generated sales of CHF 1,569 million (including medpex) from serving around seven million active customers in core European markets. Zur Rose Group AG’s shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Dr Christoph Lächler, Lead Partner
Dr Jochen Lux, Partner
Daniel Mahn, Senior Associate
Benedikt Pittrof, Associate
Laura Rejano, Associate, all Corporate/M&A
Dr Boris Alles, Counsel, Labor, Employment & Pensions
Prof. Heralt Hug, Partner
Stefan Schreiber, Senior Associate, both Intellectual Property
Dr Jörn Witt, Partner
Dr Susanne Pech, Counsel
Dr Friederike von Zezschwitz, Associate, all Regulatory
Dr Dirk Schauer, Counsel, Private Clients
Aylin Kocak, Senior Associate, Real Estate & Public
Dr Martin Mohr, Counsel, Tax Law
Dr Rolf Hempel, Partner, Competition & EU
Dr Daniel Jenny, Partner