Shoppers Drug Mart to acquire 19 Paragon pharmacies, three central fills

TORONTO — Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart is looking to acquire 19 retail pharmacies and three central fill pharmacies located in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba from Paragon for about $75 million in cash.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of Paragon's shareholders, acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange and certain other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in third quarter 2012.

The acquisition of the Paragon retail pharmacies, along with the central fill locations that service the long-term care market, will expand Shoppers' retail presence in western Canada and will provide a platform for the company's MediSystem Technologies business to enter the British Columbia and Manitoba markets.

"This acquisition is a very good fit for Shoppers Drug Mart and is consistent with our stated growth objectives in retail pharmacy and long-term care," stated Domenic Pilla, president and CEO of Shoppers. "We look forward to welcoming the pharmacists and employees of Paragon to the Shoppers family, and together continuing to meet the needs of the patients and customers they serve."

There are more than 1,206 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in each province and two territories. The company also licenses or owns 57 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and eight upscale beauty destinations operating as Murale. The company also owns and operates 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.

In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network, a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and patient support services; and MediSystem Technologies, a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities.