Loblaw makes $170-million cash bid for B.C. medical records company QHR Corp.

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) is planning another acquisition in the health-care industry, offering $170 million to buy a B.C.-based company that provides secure medical records technology.

The Canadian grocery and pharmacy giant is offering $3.10 cash per share of QHR Corp. of Kelowna, B.C. (TSXV:QHR) — 22 per cent above the stock’s closing price Friday on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Loblaw says QHR is a “natural complement” to its Shoppers Drug Mart business — which operates Canada’s largest retail network of pharmacies.

RBC Dominion Securities analyst Irene Nattel said in a note that the transaction is not expected to be material to Loblaw’s results, but should be a nice complement to the company’s existing pharmacy and healthcare operations.

QHR currently supports 7,700 healthcare providers with a suite of secure medical records technology.

Its board of directors is supporting the Loblaw takeover bid but the deal requires approval from at least two-thirds of the votes cast by QHR shareholders at a special meeting to be held in October.