Loblaw to buy Lifemark chain of clinics for $845 million in Shoppers Drug Mart’s push into health care

Lifemark offers range of services from physiotherapy to mental health

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Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s largest food and drug retailer, is buying a top chain of physiotherapy clinics for $845 million as part of a plan to push Shoppers Drug Mart further into the health-care business.

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The acquisition of Toronto-based Lifemark Health Corp. will add 300 rehabilitation clinics to the Shoppers Drug Mart network, providing physiotherapy, massage, mental health and chiropractic services, Loblaw said in an announcement on Monday.

Loblaw, which bought Shoppers Drug Mart in 2014, has been eyeing the health-care industry as a way to expand the business, with a plan to create a cross-country network of health-care professionals all connected to patients through Loblaw’s mobile app, PC Health —  named after the retailers’ in-store brand, President’s Choice. Lifemark patients have been able to book appointments using the PC Health app since last year.

“We want the PC Health app to be the first place Canadians turn when they have questions about their health or are in search of a health-care professional,” Shoppers president Jeff Leger said in November, when the company announced the initial partnership with Lifemark.

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