McKesson ups offer for Celesio to 23.50 eur/share - source

FRANKFURT Thu Jan 9, 2014 1:29am EST

FRANKFURT Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. drugs wholesale group McKesson on Thursday lifted its offer for Celesio to 23.50 euros per share from 23 euros in a bid to win over hedge fund Elliott, a source familiar with the talks said.

McKesson in October offered 23 euros per Celesio share in a bid backed by Celesio's majority investor Franz Haniel & Cie , seeking to forge a global leader in drugs distribution to boost its bargaining power with pharmaceutical majors.

But Elliott said the $8.3 billion bid was too low and spent roughly 800 million euros ($1.09 billion) on close to a quarter of Celesio's shares, enough to block the deal.