Loblaw-Shoppers Drug Mart deal approved; Loblaw to close 18 stores

New York -- Loblaw Cos. Ltd.’s acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. has been approved by Canada’s Competition Bureau. The $12.4 billion (US$11 billion) deal is expected to close on March 28.

To win approval from the Competition Bureau, Loblaw agreed to sell 18 stores and nine in-store pharmacies.

"We are pleased the Competition Bureau has concluded its review of this transaction, and to have its consent to bring these two great Canadian companies together," stated Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw. "This merger uniquely positions Loblaw to meet the most important consumer trends in the country, including urbanization and health and wellness. In doing so, we will continue to deliver more choice, more value, and more convenience to Canadians."

A consent agreement from Canada’s Competition Bureau also includes restrictions on certain Loblaw programs and agreements on the supply of products for retail sale lasting as long as five years from the date of closing the proposed transaction.

"This agreement addresses the most significant negative competitive effects of the merger by ensuring that consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices in the retail sale of drugstore and pharmacy products in Canada,” John Pecman, commissioner of competition, said in a statement. “The Bureau will continue to investigate Loblaw’s programs related to its relationship with suppliers to ensure that Canadian consumers benefit from vigorous competition."
 

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