CVS Caremark snaps up Brazil’s Onofre

The drugstore channel in Brazil has seen a flurry of M&A activity in recent years

US pharmacy chain CVS Caremark has acquired Brazilian drugstore chain Onofre, buying an 80% stake in the family owned retail business. Financial details of the transaction, which included Onofre’s store network of 44 stores in addition to an e-commerce business, were not disclosed.

"We see Brazil as an attractive market, since the segments of health and drugstores must have double-digit growth in the next decade," said Chief Executive of CVS, Larry Merlo. "It's still a very fragmented market, so we see good opportunities to develop the business over time."

The drugstore channel in Brazil has seen a flurry of M&A activity since 2011. Most recently, BrPharma, which owns major pharmacy chains in Brazil’s north, northeast and midwest and Profarma, bought Farmalife, Drogasmil and a 50% stake in Drogaria Tamoio earlier this year.

Raia Drogasil remains the leader in Brazil in terms of sales and number of stores, according to industry body Abrafarma. The second position is occupied by Drogaria Sao Paulo, while Pague Menos continues to have a strong presence throughout Brazil.