Competition tribunal approves New Clicks acquisition
Release Date: 2003/10/16
Cape Town – The Competition Tribunal today granted unconditional approval for New Clicks Holdings to acquire four companies, namely Purchase Milton & Associates (Pty) Ltd, Milton & Associates (Pty) Ltd, J&G Purchase (Pty) Ltd and Leon Katz (Pty) Ltd. These companies are collectively referred to as PM&A and operate 83 pharmacies around the country.
Trevor Honneysett, group leader of New Clicks, welcomed the outcome of the Tribunal hearing, saying the approval paves the way for the establishment of the first Clicks pharmacies and ultimately the introduction of pharmacy dispensaries into Clicks stores.
This follows recent amendments to the Pharmacy Act which allows for corporate ownership of pharmacies and dispensaries, provided the store is under the continuous supervision of a registered pharmacist.
Clicks will now apply to the Department of Health for the transfer of licences for the 83 PM&A stores, whereafter a phased conversion and rebranding programme will take place.
In 2001 New Clicks provided funding to PM&A to purchase the pharmacies, with a future sale agreement to acquire them once the legislation was changed to allow New Clicks to own pharmacies.
Honneysett said PM&A was a strategic investment which will now form the cornerstone of the group’s retail pharmacy plans in South Africa. Despite reporting a trading loss of R8,2 million for the first six months of the New Clicks financial year, PM&A is expecting an improved operating performance for the second half of the year. The directors are confident that the turnaround in PM&A is sustainable and that the longer term prospects are favourable in a deregulated pharmacy environment.
Besides its association with PM&A, other interests which form a core part of the New Clicks healthcare strategy are its ownership of pharmaceutical distribution company, New United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD), and the 56% interest in the Link Investment Trust (LIT) which has 250 Link franchise stores.