CVS Caremark Corp. may be on the verge of going international.

CVS Caremark, Onofre, CVS, Brazilian drug chain, chain drug store operator in Brazil, Valor Economico, Arede family, Walgreens, Alliance Boots

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CVS reportedly set to buy Brazilian drug chain

December 17th, 2012

SAO PAULO, Brazil – CVS Caremark Corp. may be on the verge of going international.

The Woonsocket, R.I.-based pharmacy company is in advanced negotiations to buy a controlling interest in Onofre, a chain drug store operator in Brazil, according to the Valor Economico newspaper.

The publication reports that CVS Caremark will pay 650 million Brazilian reals ($313 million U.S.) to acquire an 80% stake in Onofre as well as assume the company’s debt.
A spokesman for CVS Caremark declined to comment on the story. Onofre officials could not be reached at presstime.

Onofre is the eighth-largest drug store chain in Brazil in terms of revenue. It has 44 stores in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Rio Grande do Sul states.

The drug chain is controlled by the Arede family, which will continue to be part of the company’s management after the deal, according to the report by Valor Economico.

If CVS Caremark agrees to buy Onofre, it will become the second U.S. pharmacy operator to establish an international presence. In June, Walgreen Co. purchased a 45% stake in London-based Alliance Boots for $6.7 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Walgreens has until 2015 to acquire the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots for $9.5 billion in cash and stock.