Dis-Chem targets primary care coverage

Dis-Chem Pharmacies has confirmed Competition Tribunal approval for the acquisition of Baby City, together with three further transactions which it says will extend the group’s positioning as a key provider of integrated primary healthcare services.

The company said that unconditional approval by the Competition Tribunal for the acquisition of Baby City was received on 20 November 2020.

The effective date for the transaction, which sees Dis-Chem acquiring 100% of Baby City, will be 1 January 2021.

“Both Medicare and Dis-Chem are committed to delivering an unrivalled one-stop healthcare experience, with convenience, excellent customer service and value at the core of the brand promise.

“The transaction will also give us access to new markets as many Medicare stores are in geographies where Dis-Chem is currently under-represented,” said Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzman.

He said Dis-Chem has identified synergies which can be extracted quickly and efficiently. These include the integration of Medicare pharmacies into Dis-Chem’s current supply chain, with pharmacies being more extensively serviced by CJ Distribution.

There is strong potential to extend Dis-Chem’s loyalty and partner offering, currently comprising more than 5.7 million members with access to multiple value-enhancing partners, to Medicare customers, which will drive increased shopper frequency and bigger customer baskets, the group said.

It said that the high penetration of pharmacy clinics will extend Dis-Chem’s clinic network coverage, which supports its primary care ambitions.

Aligned to the Medicare announcement is the Healthforce acquisition.

“In the face of a changing primary healthcare landscape, Healthforce, via its nurse-led clinic management software, presents Dis-Chem with an investment in an asset which drives its strategic objectives of being at the forefront of innovation in the delivery of quality primary care.

“In addition to the core clinic management capability, Healthforce provides the platform for Dis-Chem to introduce an integrated primary care solution that spans dispensary and clinic, placing the patient at the epicentre of the Dis-Chem healthcare experience,” the group said.

It said that while Healthforce will operate independently of Dis-Chem, Saltzman said that both parties share the vision of enabling a nationwide network of advanced primary care providers.

Healthforce will continue to invest in the development of its solutions, making these advances available to a growing network of independent pharmacies and clinics.

The Medicare acquisition remains subject to suspensive conditions, including approval from the competition authorities.

The Kaelo investment, meanwhile, will further extend Dis-Chem’s presence into the integrated primary healthcare sphere by providing deeper access to affordable and quality healthcare.

“Both Dis-Chem and Kaelo are committed to playing leading roles in the universal access to affordable and quality private primary healthcare.  With the public healthcare system overwhelmed, and private healthcare out of reach for many, the opportunity for affordable and quality primary healthcare insurance is sizable,” Saltzman said.

“This acquisition builds on both current and previous investments and acquisitions, which combined, position Dis-Chem well to augment the provision of care in a rapidly evolving primary care landscape.”

The targeted effective date of the transaction will be 1 May 2021, subject to approval by the Competition Tribunal.

Read: Dis-Chem is buying Baby City for R430 million

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Dis-Chem targets primary care coverage