February 6, 2013 / 1:41 PM / in 5 years

CVS buys Brazil's Drogaria Onofre in first international deal

(Reuters) - CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N) bought Drogaria Onofre, Brazil’s 8th-largest drugstore chain, last week, marking the first time the drugstore and pharmacy services company has reached outside the United States, Chief Executive Larry Merlo said on Wednesday.

The 44-store chain will continue to be managed locally, and the acquisition should not be financially material to CVS in 2013, Merlo told Reuters.

    “We view Brazil as an attractive market given that healthcare and pharmacy are expected to grow double digits for the next decade,” said Merlo. “It’s still a highly-fragmented market, so we see nice opportunity to grow the business over time.”

    Sao Paulo-based Onofre is Brazil’s 8th biggest pharmacy group by sales, and the 18th largest by number of stores, according to local industry group Abrafarma.

    Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago, additional reporting by Brad Haynes in Sao Paulo; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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