Canadian retailer Loblaw, through its subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart, has agreed to acquire Lifemark Health Group for aggregate cash consideration of $845m.

Lifemark is a portfolio company of US-based alternative investment manager Audax Private Equity and has more than 300 clinics across Canada.

It provides outpatient physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, mental health, and other ancillary rehabilitation services.

With the acquisition, Loblaw will benefit from Lifemark as a healthcare service provider, with a network of health and wellness solutions that can be accessed digitally and in-person.

Shoppers Drug Mart president Jeff Leger said: “For the past 60 years, Shoppers Drug Mart has played an important role in the health and wellness of Canadians, providing convenient, seamless access to pharmacy and healthcare services in communities nationwide.

“For Canadians who want to get well and stay well, pharmacy and physical therapy services go hand in hand. Shoppers and Lifemark together make the continuum of care easier for patients.

“The acquisition of Lifemark strengthens our ability to support customers’ wellness, adding new categories of care. As we welcome Peter and the entire Lifemark team, we are creating a powerful combination that will reach more people and provide better health outcomes for more Canadians.”

Through the deal, Shoppers will add Lifemark to its team working in pharmacies, medical clinics, and healthcare businesses, supported by its digital PC Health offering.

The combination is expected to create a network of thousands of individual healthcare professionals, with complementary expertise, operating in neighbourhoods coast-to-coast.

The deal is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

CIBC Capital Markets served as financial advisor and Borden Ladner Gervais as legal advisor to Loblaw and Shoppers on the transaction.

Harris Williams served as financial advisor and Blake, Cassels & Graydon and Kirkland & Ellis as legal advisors to Lifemark and its shareholders.

Lifemark Health Group CEO Peter Stymiest said: “We are excited for this new chapter in Lifemark’s success story. Shoppers Drug Mart is a well-trusted, iconic Canadian brand, with an extensive local and virtual presence.

“By joining Shoppers, Lifemark will continue to grow as a national health and wellness network, reaching more Canadians who need access to care and advancing our shared vision to enrich the health of Canadians.”