Skip to main content

Jean Coutu shareholders approve sale to Metro

The $4.5-billion deal is still pending regulatory approvals

Jean Coutu Group shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the sale of the pharmacy chain to fellow Quebec retailer Metro.

A near-unanimous 99.9% of votes cast sanctioned the $4.5-billion transaction, well above the two-thirds requirement.

Shareholders of Jean Coutu are being offered a combination of cash and stock worth about $24.50 per share.

The deal announced nearly two months ago still awaits regulatory approvals and is expected to close next spring.

The vote was all but a foregone conclusion since the Coutu family and affiliated entities, which hold 93% of voting rights along with company directors and senior officers, agreed to vote in favour of the deal.

The proposed merger follows Loblaw Companies Limited's $12.4-billion cash-and-stock deal in 2014 of Shoppers Drug Mart, which operates as Pharmaprix in Quebec.

Quebec's second-largest pharmacy network, including Jean Coutu and Brunet, will operate as a separate division of the grocery company, headed by Francois Coutu, son of the company founder.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds