Loblaw Cos. has agreed to sell 18 stores and nine pharmacies within existing stores to meet approval of its pending acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.
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."
Stores to be divested in the deal include 14 Shoppers Drug Mart stores, three No Frills stores and a Save-Easy location. Nine of the divested stores and seven of the in-store pharmacies to be divested are located in Ontario. The $12.4 billion (Canadian) deal is expected to close this Friday, Loblaw said.
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