September 3, 2013 / 4:16 PM / in 4 years

Loblaw-Shoppers Drug deal gets support from proxy firms

(Reuters) - Two independent proxy advisory firms have recommended that Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO shareholders vote in favor of Loblaw Co Ltd’s (L.TO) C$12.4 billion ($11.76 billion) takeover offer, the Canadian pharmacy chain said on Tuesday.

A general view of Loblaw Companies Limited Executive Chairman Galen G. Weston speaking during the annual general meeting of shareholders is seen in Toronto, May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) and Glass Lewis & Co, which offer advice on shareholder votes, both backed the deal. Glass Lewis noted the deal offers attractive diversification at a time of increasing competition in Canada.

Shoppers is Canada’s biggest drugstore chain, and Loblaw is the country’s biggest grocery chain.

Shareholders of Shoppers are expected to approve the acquisition, Canada’s biggest deal so far this year, when they vote at a special meeting on September 12, Shoppers CEO Domenic Pilla told Reuters last week.

($1=$1.0541 Canadian)

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway

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