Shoppers Drug Mart to expand Canadians' access to virtual care through $75 million investment in Maple
TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2020 /CNW/ - (TSX: L): Loblaw Companies Ltd ("Loblaw" or the "Company") has taken a significant step forward on its journey to provide Canadians with the convenience and security of a digitally connected healthcare network. Today, the Company announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. ("Shoppers Drug Mart") will invest $75 million in Maple Corporation ("Maple"), the leading virtual care provider in Canada, in exchange for a material minority stake in the company (the "Transaction").
Maple is a thriving Canadian telemedicine provider that allows patients to connect online with a variety of healthcare professionals, including general practitioners, specialists and allied health professionals. As the country evolves to a more digitally enabled healthcare system, telemedicine/virtual care has emerged as a key enabler of reliable and convenient access to care. This investment is an important step as Shoppers Drug Mart looks to make this service more accessible, with a goal to provide a seamless experience for patients as they move between virtual and in-person care.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that Canadians need new ways, particularly virtual ways, to get access to care," said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We know that the future of healthcare is digitally enabled. We believe that our store network and infrastructure, combined with Maple's technology can help better connect Canadians to the healthcare support they need, whenever and wherever they are."
Prior to the Transaction, Shoppers Drug Mart worked closely with Maple on two strategic initiatives that gave the Company an opportunity to more deeply understand Maple's service offering. Maple virtual care is currently available in more than 160 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in British Columbia. Additionally, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two companies worked together to make virtual care more accessible for Canadians. In less than a month, this initiative enabled nearly 20,000 virtual care visits, during a time when Canadians were asked to stay home and stay safe. In addition to these initiatives, Maple's strong history of implementing custom telehealth solutions for governments, hospitals, employers, and insurers made the investment in Maple an attractive choice.>
Led by Shoppers Drug Mart, the leader in Canada's retail drug store marketplace and the number one provider of pharmacy products and services, Loblaw offers full-service pharmacies and professional care from 5,000 healthcare professionals in more than 1,800 locations in 10 provinces and 2 territories. The investment in Maple is another critical building block in Loblaw's connected healthcare strategy, along with:
About Shoppers Drug Mart Inc.
This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which reflects Loblaw's current expectations regarding future events. 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. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in Loblaw's 2019 Annual Report, current Annual Information Form and 2020 Second Quarter Report. 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. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and are qualified by these cautionary statements.
SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited
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