PRIVATE hospital operator Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) has been given the green light to acquire the Malouf Pharmacies as it looks to expand its own pharmacy chain.
Ramsay received regulatory approval to acquire Malouf's, which is one of Australia's leading pharmacy brands and the largest privately owned pharmacy group in Queensland, employing more than 450 staff.
The deal is expected to be finalised in early December 2017.
Ramsay Health Care is the largest private hospital operator in Australia with 73 facilities located throughout the country.
The Ramsay Pharmacy Franchise Network is expanding and is on track to be have around 55 retail pharmacies once current contracts are completed.
Malouf pharmacies commenced business with their first pharmacy under founder Richard Malouf, in Queensland in 1962 and Ramsay Health Care commenced operating hospitals under founder Paul Ramsay in 1964.
The strategic fit of the organisations and the proximity of the Malouf pharmacies to Ramsay's Queensland hospitals, was critical to the finalisation of the deal and will ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders.
"We are delighted to see the Malouf Pharmacies come into the Ramsay Pharmacy Franchise Network," founding partner Richard Malouf says.
"Ramsay Health Care is a great organisation with a similar vision and culture to our organisation as well as the commitment to delivering excellent healthcare services.
"We are confident that our pharmacies will be in good hands for the long term and that the health of our customers will come first".
"Paul Ramsay was a friend to Richard Malouf and would be very pleased with this deal," Ramsay Health Care chairman Michael Siddle says.
"Ramsay Health Care and its franchisees will maintain the excellent service and culture that has made Malouf Pharmacies one of the most reputable pharmacy brands in Queensland for over 50 years".
Ramsay Health Care has confirmed there will be no real change to operations of the Malouf Pharmacies at this stage.
Ramsay, as franchisor, has committed to maintaining the Malouf rewards loyalty program and Malouf employees will have the opportunity to continue working in the Malouf Pharmacies after the transition takes effect.
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