CALGARY, Alberta — The Jean Coutu Group may be only biding its time before making another go at a pharmacy operation in the United States, the Calgary Herald reported Friday, citing Jean Coutu Group chairman Jean Coutu’s recently released autobiography, written in French.
According to the report, Coutu suggested that jettisoning the Eckerd headquarters led to the early demise of the Brooks-Eckerd deal because there “weren't enough key personnel to make the merger work.”
For now, JCG holds a 28.4% equity interest in the No. 3 American pharmacy chain, Rite Aid, and has four directors on that company’s board, the Herald reported. With that stake, Jean Coutu is in a position of "active waiting" in the U.S. market. Coutu expects that once America’s healthcare reform gets into full swing, the business of pharmacy should realize a resurgance.