BRAMPTON, ON, Sept. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L) welcomed the decision by shareholders of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation to approve Loblaw's acquisition of Canada's leading pharmacy retailer at a special Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders' meeting held in Toronto today.
"We are very pleased that Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders have overwhelmingly decided to support Loblaw's acquisition, which brings together two of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing to create the leading Canadian retailer," said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw. "The combination of Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart will transform the Canadian retail landscape by delivering more choice, service, value and convenience for consumers."
Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders were asked to vote on a special resolution approving Loblaw's acquisition of all outstanding common shares of Shoppers Drug Mart in accordance with the definitive agreement entered into on July 14, 2013. The resolution was approved by 99.89% of the votes cast by Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders.
Closing of the transaction remains subject to court approval and the customary competition review process. "Given the complementary nature of the two companies' businesses and the intensely competitive Canadian retail market, we remain confident the transaction will be approved," commented Mr. Weston. "Discussions with the Competition Bureau are ongoing and proceeding as expected. We are working with the Bureau to expedite the process. We continue to expect to complete the transaction by the end of the first quarter of 2014."About Shoppers Drug Mart Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. Shoppers Drug Mart is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With 1,244 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. Shoppers Drug Mart also licenses or owns 57 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and operates 62 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 Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services; and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. About Loblaw Companies Limited Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ approximately 134,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points and PC Plus™ loyalty program. For more information, visit Loblaw's website at www.loblaw.ca and Loblaw's issuer profile at www.sedar.com. Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation including, but not limited to, statements relating to the expected closing date of the transaction and certain strategic benefits expected to result from the transaction. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Loblaw's control, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that the transaction will occur or that the anticipated strategic benefits and operational, competitive and cost synergies will be realized. The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals, including approvals under the Competition Act ( Canada) and by the TSX, and the fulfillment of certain conditions, and there can be no assurance that any such approvals will be obtained and/or any such conditions will be met. Loblaw does not undertake any obligation to update such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law. SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited