UPS Healthcare Logistics adds to network with an Italian acquisition
Purchase of Pieffe Group, combined with new facility launches, brings UPS capacity nearly to 5 million sq.ft. worldwide; more expected in 2012
Every three months or so, UPS Healthcare Logistics, a dedicated unit of Big Brown for pharma, med devices and other healthcare products, announces the opening of a new distribution center or transportation hub; now it is growing by acquisition as well. The company announced the purchase of Pieffe Group, a mid-size distributor in Italy (with blue-chip clients like Pfizer, GSK, Novartis, Lilly and others), and two locations (Formello and Liscate). UPS has two other facilities in Italy, near Milan and Rome.
Meanwhile, at presstime the New York Post reported that UPS had been looking to acquire World Courier, a Stamford, CT-based express delivery company that handles a considerable amount of clinical trial logistics, but that the reported $500-million deal broke off for unknown reasons. The Post cited sources speculating that a private-equity company would buy the firm, and quoted a UPS spokesperson saying that “We make no secret about healthcare being a strategic segment for growth.”
About the Pieffe transaction, Bill Hook, president of UPS Healthcare Logistics, says that the company’s longterm strategy is to build or acquire resources globally commensurate with the global scale of its life sciences customers. “The Pieffe acquisition fits with our plans to expand in Europe, but more importantly, Pieffe brings the same cultural values of quality, service and regulatory compliance that we strive to maintain.” Pieffe’s existing services, beyond basic distribution, include labeling, controlled substances distribution, and temperature-sensitive handling.
UPS has opened new facilities in Venlo, the Netherlands, this year, which Hook says will be the hub for European distribution. In addition, new facilities have been opened in Brazil; Singapore; Louisville, KY; and Canada. “Going forward, we’re looking at China, Central America and Eastern Europe,” says Hook.