Watsons successfully completes acquisition of Apex Pharmacy

Tuesday May 31st, 2005 All BrandsAll Markets

Watson's Personal Care Stores Sdn Bhd (Watsons), the Malaysian unit of Hong Kong-based A.S. Watson Group (ASW), today announced the successful acquisition of Apex Pharmacy Sdn Bhd (Apex Pharmacy) from Apex Healthcare Bhd (AHB), a Bursa Malaysia main board-listed company.
Watsons assumes ownership of 20 Apex Pharmacy stores nationwide with effect 31st May 2005. In terms of the pharmacy, the combined store network will also have 35 counters that will trade using the 'Apex' brand under an exclusive license from AHB to leverage its strong brand equity and large customer base.

The total value of the acquisition is RM12.2 million.

Ian Cruddas, General Manager of Watsons Malaysia, said, "Malaysia is a robust retail market and this strategic move further strengthens our local position in the sector. With the acquisition, we will refurbish the stores to reflect the look and feel of Watsons, including changes and enhancements to store signages, layouts and fittings."

Dr Kee Kirk Chin, Managing Director of AHB, said: "Whilst the retail business was the genesis of the Group, manufacturing and distribution operations have gradually become its core activities. With our exit from the retail business, we will now be able to fully concentrate on these core activities that have been and will continue to be the engine of growth for the Group."

Founded in 1962, Apex Pharmacy's community and family-oriented approach has earned the loyal support of a large pool of customers throughout its network spanning the Klang Valley, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Johor and East Malaysia.

With Foreign Investment Committee's approval, the sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition was signed today, following the lapse of an earlier sale and purchase agreement entered into in July 2004.