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Celesio AG
Traded asFWBCLS1
FounderFranz Ludwig Gehe
HeadquartersStuttgart, Germany
Key people
Marc E. Owen (Chairman of the Management Board/ Chief Operating Officer/ Labour Relations Director), John H. Hammergren (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Servicespharmaceutical wholesale and retail
Revenue€22.325,9 million (2014)
€237.0 million (2014
€52.4 million (2014)
Total assets€7.829,6 million (2014)
Total equity€2.761,5 million (2014
Number of employees
29,123 (2014)
ParentMcKesson Corporation

Celesio AG is a German healthcare and pharmaceutical company, based in Stuttgart. The company operates in 14 countries around the world and generated revenue of more than 22,000 million euros in 2014. The corporation is part of the American McKesson Corporation who has a 76% stake in the company.


The head office is situated at Stockholmer Platz in the new Europaviertel of Stuttgart, next to Stadtbibliothek and Milaneo shopping centre. The company’s core business consists of pharmaceutical wholesale and pharmacies. In the pharmaceutical wholesaling sector, Celesio has a market presence in 14 countries. It has a range of services for pharmacists on matters of health, medicines and wellness. An extensive distribution network of more than 134 branches provides deliveries to some 65,000 pharmacies and hospitals.[citation needed]

Group structure[edit]

Pharmacy solutions: Celesio's Pharmacy Solutions division focuses on the pharmaceutical wholesale business. Pharmaceutical wholesale has always been a major cornerstone of Celesio's core business. With its subsidiaries, Celesio AG is represented in 11 European countries and Brazil. A total of 134 wholesale branches supply around 65,000 pharmacies and hospitals every day.[citation needed]

Consumer solutions: Celesio's Consumer Solutions division runs pharmacies of its own as well as partnership pharmacies. They sell a wide range of non-prescription products and medical services besides the traditional prescription pharmaceuticals. Celesio is one of the largest pharmacy operators in Europe, with 2,200 pharmacies of its own and 4,300 participants in brand partnership schemes.[citation needed]

It owns Evolution Homecare which provides clinical homecare services across the United Kingdom. It was reported in January 2016 that it was to buy BUPA's domiciliary care business.[1]


1835 - 1948[edit]

The company was founded in 1835 by businessman Franz Ludwig Gehe in Dresden[2] and opened to the capital market on 1 January 1903 as the result of a conversion into a public limited company.[3] In January 1904, the shares were approved for trading on the former stock exchange in Dresden.

In 1909 the company relocated to a new and bigger site in the Leipziger Strasse and gave up their former seat in the Königstrasse (both in Dresden). The capital increase that took place in 1910 and 1912 laid the financial foundation for the country-wide sale of "drugs and paints, pharmaceuticals and chemical products" in proximity to customers. Following this expansion, the company founded its first subsidiary in Stuttgart, Germany.

After the Second World War the headquarters in Dresden, as well as most of the subsidiaries were dispossessed and the Gehe & Co. AG relocated completely to West Germany with subsidiaries in Stuttgart, Kassel and Sulzbach-Rosenberg in order to re-establish the enterprise.

The original company building in Dresden was in 1947 re-fashioned under "Heilchemie" and continued to function as a state-owned enterprise (later, in April 1951 "Heilchemie" merged with the likewise state-owned company "Dr. Madaus & Co" to become the "VEB Arzneimittelwerk Dresden")

1948 - 1981[edit]

Effective as of 1 January 1973, Haniel took control of the majority of Gehe’s shares. A key condition in the Haniel takeover was that management remain within the company in order to continue to enhance and develop the solid foundations established after the war. The pre-war recognisable name of "Gehe" managed to regain some of its prominence amongst pharmacists as a result of the acquisition of branches throughout Germany. The transition to Haniel saw the acquisition of branches in following places: Bremen, Hamburg, Kassel, Kelkheim, Landshut, Mühldorf, München, Nürnberg, Regensburg and Stuttgart.

In 1973 the company’s target revenue totalled 285 million Deutsche Mark. Owing to the majority shareholder Franz Haniel & Cie., other wholesalers were incorporated into the group (for example Friedrich Schäfer GmbH, Weiterstadt and Kaiserslautern, Wilmaco GmbH, Hamm and Lieser Pharma-GmbH, Duisburg).

1981 - 2003[edit]

1985 saw the successful acquisition of the Kaiser + Kraft-Group based in Stuttgart, a mail-order service for transport, stock, business and office supplies. Until 1992 customers in Germany were supplied from warehouses in Hamburg, Berlin, Haan, Dresden, Stuttgart and Munich.

Throughout the following years trade was extended to 14 countries in Europe and the USA. With the stock market launch of the TAKKT on 15 September 1999, the mail-order segment of the business was separated from the rest of the enterprise.

2003 onwards[edit]

At the annual general meeting on 24 April 2003, the shareholders approved the change of name from GEHE AG to Celesio AG with an overwhelming majority of 99.98%; therefore, in the 100th year as a public limited company, the first year of Celesio began. Until today the German subsidiary GEHE Pharma Handel continues trading under the original name.

On 26 April 2007 Celesio announced its acquisition of a 90% stake in the mail-order pharmacy DocMorris,[4] out of which it wanted to establish a pharmacy chain. For the pharmaceutical wholesaler Gehe (part of the Celesio group) this acquisition resulted in a loss of customers as pharmacists saw a conflict of interest in this chain. DocMorris now functions as a franchise-like concept by the pharmacists, in exchange for a monthly license fee for the use of the DocMorris brand. DocMorris was later sold by Celesio to the Rose AG in October 2012.[5]

The European Parliament passed a notion on 19 May 2009, making pharmacy chains illegal in Germany in accordance with European Law.[6]

On 29 June 2009 it was announced that Celesio had predominantly acquired Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler Panpharma. Three years later in 2012 Celesio overtook the company completely.[7]

At the end of June 2011, Celesio’s long time Chief Executive Officer Fritz Oesterle left his position to be replaced by Markus Pinger on 15 August 2011. However, on 3 July 2013 the Celesio Supervisory Board dismissed Pinger as CEO with immediate effect. Dr Marion Helmes took over the function of Speaker of the Supervisory Board of the Celesio AG in addition to her role as Chief Financial Officer until further notice.[8]

Since December 2012 Stephan Gemkow as controlling shareholder of the Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH has been the Chairman of the Celesio Supervisory Board.[9]

16 September: Martin Fisher takes up his position as new Chief Operations Officer of the company.

On 19 September Celesio sells its mail order subsidiary, Rudolf Spiegel GmbH, to WEPA Apothekenbedarf GmbH.

24 October 2013: McKesson announces agreement to purchase Celesio to create leading global Healthcare Services Platform. In January 2014 McKesson announced that it was unsuccessful in completing the acquisition offers.[10]

9 January 2014: McKesson announces agreement with Elliott Management Corporation to acquire their Celesio convertible bonds in an effort to control 75% of Celesio.[11]

6 February 2015: McKesson Corporation concludes the acquisition of more than 75 percent of Celesio shares and is therefore the new majority shareholder in Celesio.

27 April 2015: Celesio announces the intention to sell its Brazilian operations to weaken their market position in South America.

29 July 2015: Sainsbury’s and Celesio form a strategic pharmacy partnership that will see LloydsPharmacy acquire Sainsbury’s pharmacy business for £125m.

Management Board[edit]

  • Brian Tyler (Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Operating Officer and Labour Relations Director, since 3 April 2017).
  • Tilo Köster (Member of the Management Board / Legal and Compliance, since 23 September 2014)
  • Alain Vachon (Chief Financial Officer, since 16 July 2014).

Supervisory Board[edit]

  • John H. Hammergren (Chairman)
  • Ihno Goldenstein (Deputy Chairman)
  • Klaus Borowicz
  • Professor Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann
  • Paul C. Julian
  • Jörg Lauenroth-Mago
  • Pauline Lindwall
  • Susan Naumann
  • Ulrich Neumeister
  • W.M. Henning Rehder
  • Patrick Schwarz-Schütte
  • Gabriele Katharina Stall

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Celesio in exclusivity to acquire Bupa's home care division". Health Investor. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. ^ 1. Mai 1835: Unternehmensgründung
  3. ^ 1903-1947: Geschichte
  4. ^ 26. April 2007 Celesio erwirbt Mehrheit an DocMorris
  5. ^ Spiegel: Pharmadiscounter DocMorris wird an die Schweiz verkauft, 25. Oktober 2012
  6. ^ Martin-W. Buchenau, Maike Telgheder, Peter Thelen: EuGH-Urteil: Desaster für Doc Morris. In: Handelsblatt, 19. Mai 2009. Abgerufen am 1. Juli 2012.
  7. ^ Handelsblatt: Celesio will Panpharma komplett übernehmen, 26. April 2012
  8. ^ Handelsblatt online: Celesio setzt Chef Markus Pinger vor die Tür
  9. ^ Mitglieder des Aufsichtsrats: Jürgen Kluge (Vorsitzender), Anteilseignervertreter. celesio.com. Abgerufen am 1. Juli 2012.
  10. ^ "McKesson Announces Results of Celesio Offer" 13 January 2014.
  11. ^ https://www.mckesson.com/about-mckesson/newsroom/press-releases/2014/mckesson-makes-best-and-final-offer-for-celesio--increasing-offer-price-for-celesio-to-eur-23-50/ McKesson Makes Best and Final Offer for Celesio, Increasing Offer Price for Celesio to EUR 23.50

External links[edit]