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Uniprix shareholders OK acquisition by McKesson Canada

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MONTREAL — Shareholders of Uniprix Group have given the green light for the Quebec drug chain to be acquired by McKesson Canada.

Uniprix said late Tuesday that at a meeting in Drummondville, Quebec, 95% of Uniprix shareholders approved McKesson Canada’s bid to acquire all outstanding shares of Uniprix.

McKesson Canada unveiled the deal to buy Uniprix last month. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. The acquisition still must be approved by regulators, including the Superior Court of Quebec and the Competition Bureau of Canada, and meet other closing conditions.

“We are pleased that our members believe in this acquisition as well as our commitment to protect the autonomy of independent pharmacy owners,” Uniprix president and chief executive officer Philippe Duval said in a statement. “We have a long history of working with McKesson Canada, and this transaction provides a platform to support a bright future for Uniprix’s independent pharmacy owners to deliver quality care to patients across Quebec.”

Operating under a franchise model, Uniprix has a retail network of more than 330 pharmacies across Quebec under the Uniprix, Uniprix Clinique and Uniprix Santé banners. Plans call for the pharmacies to remain independently owned after the acquisition.

The addition of Uniprix’s pharmacies will make McKesson Canada the largest drug store operator in Quebec, topping the Jean Coutu Group, whose retail network has 418 stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

McKesson Canada is Canada’s largest drug store operator, with about 2,170 pharmacy locations across Canada, including approximately 450 pharmacies from its acquisition of Rexall Health.


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