New owner, new name for Medicine Hat pharmacy
A national pharmacy firm has sold its Medicine Hat operation to an Alberta company, saying that the local outfit is not central to its plans, while the new owners acquire a second location in the Hat.
Centric Health, which purchased the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy on Carry Drive in late 2016, announced Dec. 31 it was selling the franchise to an unnamed Alberta-based company, which the News has confirmed is the Sandstone pharmacy group.
That company operates 18 locations in Alberta, including the IDA drug store in Crescent Heights.
Dan Reich, the former owner of the Medicine Shoppe franchise and current manager of the store, said customers shouldn’t expect any disruption to service or major changes right away.
“It’ll be the same store, same staff, different sign,” said Reich on Monday morning. The store was recently refitted with new signs and a street sign giving it Centric’s “Phamacare” store branding, about two years after the “Medicine Shoppe” was acquired.
The value of this week’s sale, which includes another retail pharmacy in Grande Prairie, is $4.5 million, not including a performance clause that could add another $225,000 over two years.
The deal could be finalized in February. Scotia Capital is acting as Centric’s advisor.
Sandstone, owned by Calgary-based Apex Pharmacies, also operates 18 outlets in that city and in communities around Red Deer, Airdrie, Langdon, and Nanton.
Centric officials said of the Dec. 31 announcement that it planned to concentrate on high-volume contract deliveries to seniors living and long-term care facilities as well as retail services to large corporate health plans. Another wing of the company operates five private surgical centres in four provinces.
“After a careful review, we determined that our Alberta retail pharmacy operations were not core to our new strategic direction of establishing Centric Health as the leading provider of pharmacy and other health-care services to Canadian seniors,” said David Murphy, Centric’s president and CEO, in a release.
“These divestitures are an important first step in strengthening our balance sheet, and we look forward to our continued leadership position in specialty pharmacy operations in Alberta."