United Drug has bought the pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging division of Belgium-based company Budelpack International.

The Budelpack business in the north of the country provides contract packaging services for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. It works with a number of international manufacturers throughout Europe.

The business currently employs approximately 140 people, all of whom will remain with the business.

United chief executive Liam FitzGerald said the deal was a significant development as it was the company's first in continental Europe. 'The acquired business fits very well with our existing packaging business in the UK, TD Packaging,' he added.

Shares in the company closed up 13 cent at €4.05 in Dublin this evening.