Canada: Pharmacy to be divested again


The Rexall store in Sechelt at Trail Bay Centre will be sold as part of a consent agreement reached between Canada’s Competition Bureau and Rexall’s parent company.

It’s the second time a pharmacy at that location has been up for divestiture since 2014.


In March 2014, the Commissioner of Competition ordered Shoppers Drug Mart be sold because its controlling company, Loblaw, owned too much of the market with both Shoppers and Extra Foods in Sechelt.

Rexall, under ownership of Katz Group Canada Inc., took over the Shoppers location at Trail Bay Centre in December 2014.

In March of this year, McKesson Canada Corporation acquired the Rexall chain from Katz Group and after a competition tribunal, the Commissioner concluded on Dec. 14 that the transaction would likely “result in a substantial lessening and/or prevention of competition in the wholesale and retail sale of certain pharmacy products and services, including prescription and over the counter pharmaceuticals.”

McKesson is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in North America, delivering one-third of all medications to the market place.

Under the terms of the consent agreement, McKesson Canada Corporation must divest 28 of the Rexall retail pharmacies it acquired from Katz Group in markets in Alberta, B.C., the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

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The Sechelt Rexall is one of four B.C. locations that were identified for divestiture, along with Burns Lake, Ladysmith and Vanderhoof.

The timeline to sell the store has been deliberately kept from the public in a confidential annex to the tribunal report – however, if it does not sell within the “Initial Sale Period,” there is a six-month “Divestiture Trustee Sale Period” laid out.

“McKesson does not anticipate any store closures as a result of these divestitures and we are committed to maintaining the current levels of employment throughout the sale of these pharmacies,” said Darius Kuras, senior advisor, external communications with McKesson.

The competition tribunal consent agreement notes that McKesson must preserve the Sechelt store in its current form during its divestiture and not terminate or alter any employment, salary or benefit agreements.

Once a sale is complete, there’s no language in the document that ensures employees will be offered the same positions under a new owner. It states that the purchaser can “make decisions regarding offers of employment” to current Rexall employees.

Rexall’s director of corporate communications, Derek Tupling, said it would be business as usual, as far as the community’s concerned, until the sale of the store to another retail pharmacy provider is complete.

It will be the same situation shoppers encountered when Rexall came into the community in 2014.

“People can still go in and fill up their prescriptions, they can still go in there and buy goods and they can still expect the same level of service they’ve been receiving going forward and throughout the transition process,” Tupling said.

Source: Coastreporter


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