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Will Rexall get bought out?

New analyst report predicts takeover could happen in coming years

Speculation is swirling that one of the country's largest pharmacy chains may be purchased over the next few years.

The chain is Rexall, which has more than 400 stores nationwide and is owned by Katz Group of Cos. According to a recent report by Vishal Shreedhar, an analyst at National Bank Financial, there have been indications that the company may go through a takeover in the years to come.

For instance, former Shoppers Drug Mart senior executive Jurgen Schrieber stepped in as Rexall Health's chief executive in August, which could be a sign of upcoming change at the chain.

In a Financial Post article, Shreedhar says "We believe that part of Mr. Schreiber's compensation is equity-based, which is supportive of an acquisition."

Canadian grocery retailer groups that may be interested in acquiring Rexall Health, which includes retail and health care clinics, include Sobeys and Safeway owner Empire Co. or Metro.

While he agreed in the Post article that Empire seems the most likely candidate to scoop up Rexall Health, he noted that Empire is still acclimatizing to its acquisition of Safeway in Western Canada so it could be a while before it made such an acquisition.

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