(Adds details of expansion plan)
ZURICH, June 8 (Reuters) - Zur Rose Group plans to raise at least 200 million Swiss francs ($207.34 million) this year in an initial share sale to fund growth including at its DocMorris operation in Germany, the online pharmacy said on Thursday.
Zur Rose would be the second Swiss pharmacy group to list shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange this year. Galenica Sante’s listing in April was Europe’s largest IPO this year.
Zur Rose is boosting TV advertising in Germany, its largest market, where it is benefitting from the lifting of bans on prescription drug rebates that helped boost first-quarter sales by 17 percent.
In Switzerland, where Zur Rose got its start in 1993 as a supplier of medicines to doctors’ offices, the company has joined retailer Migros on a shop-in-shop concept due to open its first location in July.
“Zur Rose aims to use the IPO proceeds to better take advantage of growth opportunities that will help it expand its position in the European market for online pharmacy sales,” it said in a statement.
The ongoing liberalisation of pharmacy markets across Europe offers chances for further international expansion that Zur Rose said it aims to serve from its DocMorris logistics centre on the German-Dutch border.
Zur Rose competes for online customers with Germany’s Shop Apotheke, which last year raised about 100 million euros ($112.62 million) in an IPO in Frankfurt.
UBS and Berenberg are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, with Zuercher Kantonalbank mandated as co-lead manager.
An extraordinary shareholders meeting is scheduled for June 19 to approve details of the IPO, Zur Rose said.
($1 = 0.9646 Swiss francs)
$1 = 0.8879 euros Reporting by John Miller; editing by Jason Neely