This past week, Ireland's United Drug has announced the €21m acquisition of JVA Analytical, a Dublin-based provider of laboratory instrumentation, supplies and services. The purchase is one of a string of supplementary businesses that the drug wholesaler has added to its belt in just over a year - to the tune of over €70m - to broaden its business mix and stay competitive in the evolving European distribution market. Included in the spoils are a UK pharmaceutical conference services firm; a US pharma sales and marketing services provider; and two European packaging services companies. Commenting on the latest acquisition, United Drug CEO Liam FitzGerald said: "JVA will form an important part of our medical and scientific division and broadens the range of customers to whom we provide support and services." The terms of the buyout included a €16.5m cash payment from united Drug, with an additional €4.5m to be paid upon the meeting of certain targets over the next two years. JVA's 19 employees will remain with the company under its new ownership. In related news, Movianto UK was recently awarded a warehousing and distribution services contract for Aurobindo pharmaceuticals. Under the deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, Movianto will provide UK-wide third party logistics (3PL) functions for Aurobindo's two UK generics outfits, Aurex and Milpharm, based on the outskirts of London. Meanwhile, it has recently been reported that IT giant IBM has its eye on India's lucrative healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry. The firm is reportedly scouring around for new business opportunities in the country and over the next three or four years aims to reap in around $1bn in new dealings. Of this, IBM believes around 30-40 per cent of the opportunity lies in IT programmes for use in the drug discover and clinical trials processes, while a further 30 per cent may evolve from software to assist in more secure, accountable and streamlined supply chain management. The firm said it also sees a lot of potential in IT solutions for hospitals, doctors, medicine administration and medical insurers.