Jean Coutu in advanced talks to be acquired by Metro

BY David Salazar

MONTREAL — Industry consolidation continued in the Great White North as the Jean Coutu Group could soon be part of Canada’s third-largest grocery chain. The company announced Wednesday that it was in advanced talks with Metro, which operates in Quebec and Ontario, regarding a potential combination agreement.

Under the terms of a non-binding letter of intent dated Aug. 22, the company would be acquired for $24.50 per share, paid 75% in cash and 25% in Metro shares.

The Coutu family has indicated that it intends to support the proposed acquisition, the companies said. At midday Tuesday, Canadian regulators halted trading of the two companies’ stocks, BNN reported.

Metro, whose headquarters are in Quebec, operates nearly 600 food stores under the Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics banners, as well as more than 250 drug stores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

The Jean Coutu Group operates a network of 419 franchised stores under the PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté banners. It also owns Quebec-based subsidiary generic drug maker Pro Doc. In 2017, the company’s retail sales were $4.47 billion.


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