European drug wholesaler Abacus secures investor to fund growth

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Danish drug merchant Abacus Medicine will sell 48 million euros ($53 million) worth of new shares to investment firm Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker after it called off a planned share listing in May.

Abacus buys medicines in cheaper parts of the European Union to sell them in more expensive markets such as Germany.

Fabrikker will acquire a stake of slightly more than a third of Abacus as part of a capital increase to fund drug purchases, product licences and expansion in new regional markets, among other growth projects, Abacus said in a statement on Monday.

"Abacus contributes positively to making pharmaceuticals more affordable for patients in most EU countries," Fabrikker's Chief Executive Claus Gregersen said, adding the firm would be a long-term co-owner.

Founder and Chief Executive Flemming Wagner will retain a majority stake, the statement said.

Though there are no current IPO plans, such a move remains an interesting option over the long term, Wagner was quoted as saying in Danish daily Borsen.

Abacus' main business is the so-called parallel trade of medicines in Europe, buying batches from wholesalers in low-price countries and making cross-border sales to other distributors.

($1 = 0.8973 euros)

(Additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen; Editing by Mark Potter)

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