Secret Deal Squeezes Mexico’s Drug Sector

06/19/16 The Wall Street Journal

crime and drugsMEXICO CITY—Last August, Mexico’s antitrust commission approved the purchase of the country’s third-largest pharmaceutical distributor by a little-known Dutch fund, saying it didn’t believe the tie-up would hurt competition in the marketplace.

What regulators didn’t know at the time was that principal owner of Nadro SA, the country’s leading drug distributor, was actually behind the Dutch fund that bought Casa Marzam SA, Nadro’s rival.

The Dutch fund, Moench Cooperatif, paid $83 million for Marzam. But the entire purchase was financed by Marina Matarazzo de Escandón, the wife of Nadro President Pablo Escandón, according to documents allegedly leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and published in April by a Mexican news website.

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