Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jean Coutu breaks into generic drug manufacturing

From the Globe and Mail:
In a departure from its core business, drugstore chain Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. is diversifying into the manufacturing of generic drugs.

Longueuil, Que.-based Jean Coutu said yesterday it has acquired Pro-Doc Ltée., a small generic drug maker based in Laval, Que. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jean Coutu made the announcement on the same day it learned its stake in U.S. drugstore giant Rite Aid Corp. took a $325-million (U.S.) hit.

"This is a new activity for us. It follows on our having sold our U.S. operations and repaying most of our debt and seeking new growth opportunities," said André Belzile, Jean Coutu's senior vice-president of finance and corporate affairs.

"It's embryonic. We want to learn. We'll see where it takes us," Mr. Belzile said in an interview. ...more

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