October 2, 2017 / 10:36 AM / a year ago

Metro Inc to buy Jean Coutu Group in $3.60 billion deal

FILE PICTURE: pedestrian walks past a Jean Coutu pharmacy in downtown Montreal, April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Shaun Best

(Reuters) - Metro Inc, Canada’s third biggest food retailer, said on Monday it would buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group for C$4.5 billion ($3.60 billion).

Shares of Jean Coutu rose as much as 2.1 percent to touch a more than two-year high at C$24.81 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Metro Inc, which had last week said it was in talks to buy Jean Coutu, offered C$24.50 per share for the Varennes, Québec-based company.

Jean Coutu operates drugstores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, and it acquired a generic drug maker in 2007. Metro operates more than 600 food stores across Canada.

BMO Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets were the financial advisers to Metro and Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP its legal counsel.

National Bank Financial Inc was the financial adviser for Jean Coutu and Stikeman Elliott LLP was its legal counsel.

Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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