Metro Inc., Canada’s third-largest food retailer, has announced it will buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group for $4.5 billion.
Metro’s existing pharmacy distribution and franchising activities will be combined with the Jean Coutu Group, which will operate as a stand-alone division of Metro with its own management team led by François J. Coutu, the chairman of the Jean Coutu Group
“Bringing together our two highly-respected and longstanding Québec brands represent an exciting milestone in the history of the Jean Coutu Group,” said Coutu, in a release.
“I am confident that this combination will ensure the safeguard of our entrepreneurial vision and corporate values as well as the perennial strength of the brand and will enable us to pursue our growth plan.”
Metro will pay $24.50 per share in cash and stock for Jean Coutu. The combined business will have an overall network of more than 1,300 stores in Canada and is expected to generate approximately $16 billion in revenue.
“We’re honoured to become the steward of the iconic Jean Coutu Group brand and we intend to build on this exceptional legacy,” said Eric R. La Flèche, president and CEO of Metro, in a release.
“This transaction is attractive and compelling from a financial and commercial perspective. It is a unique opportunity to bring together each company’s expertise to better serve the growing consumer demand for healthier choices, value and convenience.”