Health care tech company to be part of Shoppers Drug Mart
BRAMPTON, Ontario — Loblaw Cos. plans to buy health care technology company QHR, the provider of Canada’s leading electronic medical records (EMR) platform, in a $170 million deal.
Loblaw said Monday that QHR is slated to operate as business within the Shoppers Drug Mart division. Plans call for QHR to retain its current management team, working as part of Loblaw’s pharmacy and health care group, and to remain based in Kelowna, British Columbia.
QHR supports 7,700 health care providers, accounting for about 20% of EMR technology use across Canada, according to Loblaw. QHR will continue develop its EMR platform and interoperability, as well as expand patient care and practice management solutions, Loblaw said, describing QHR as a “natural complement” for the company.
“The future of health care is digital, and this strategic investment will make us a better partner to patients and providers,” Jeff Leger, executive vice president of pharmacy and health care for Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart, said in a statement. “QHR brings complementary talent and technology to our organization, providing opportunities to establish new business partnerships and drive improved care coordination for Canadians.”
Under the deal, Loblaw has agreed to acquire all of QHR’s outstanding common stock for $3.10 per share in cash. QHR’s board of directors has unanimously approved the agreement. The transaction is being executed as a statutory plan of arrangement and will require court clearance and the approval of at least two-thirds of shareholders votes at a special meeting to be held in October.
Loblaw and QHR said they expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Led by its Accuro EMR and Medeo virtual care platforms, QHR enables secure medical records management for clinical environments provides telehealth solutions, including secure video and messaging, as well as tools for clinic management, such as scheduling, billing and patient management.
“Our focus, as always, remains great service and the continued delivery of innovative technology that connects health care providers and their patients,” stated Mike Checkley, the president and chief executive officer of QHR. “We are excited to join Shoppers Drug Mart, and we see the acquisition as a great vote of confidence for our team, our technology solutions, and the thousands of physicians and business partners that rely on our products daily.”
Overall, Loblaw has more than 1,800 pharmacy locations — including over 1,300 at Shoppers Drug Mart — through its more than 2,400 independent and corporate-owned supermarkets and drug stores.
Canada’s largest food and drug retailer, Loblaw said it’s supported by 5,000 health care professionals, including pharmacists, opticians, dietitians and nurses. Health-related services offered by its stores and pharmacies include prescriptions, medications checks, flu shots, minor ailment diagnoses and nutrition consultations. The company said that 17 million Canadians interact with Loblaw in stores or online each week.