Online drug retailer Zur Rose shares soar as it sells Swiss business

By Tristan Chabba

(Reuters) - Zur Rose unexpectedly agreed to sell its Swiss business to Migros subsidiary Medbase in order to focus on expanding in Germany, the Swiss online drug retailer said on Friday, sending its shares soaring on their best day ever.

The proceeds of the transactions are estimated at 360 million Swiss francs ($393.87 million), it added.

According to preliminary figures released in January, Germany represented a little more than half of Zur Rose's revenue in 2022, while Switzerland contributed around a third, with year-on-year revenue rising by 9.5%.

"The proceeds will leave the company largely net debt-free" Jefferies said of the sale.

Zur Rose's stock was up 33% at 0852 GMT, after jumping as much as 92.31%. In 2022 the stock lost 70% of its value due to delays in the introduction of e-prescriptions in Germany.

Zur Rose said in a statement that the sale and subsequent concentration of its business activities will strengthen its position in the 50 billion euro pharmacy market in Germany and additional European countries. It said it saw "enormous potential with the rollout of electronic prescriptions in Germany".

The transaction is to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, the firm said.

($1 = 0.9140 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Tristan Chabba in Gdansk; Editing by Paul Carrel and Elaine Hardcastle)