South African drugstore chain Clicks has announced plans to acquire 25 in-store pharmacies from retailer Pick n Pay.
In a joint statement, the companies said the sale, subject to regulatory approvals, would not have a material impact on the earnings or financial position of either business.
"Pick n Pay has only held a relatively small number of pharmacies over the years," commented Pick n Pay chief operating officer Adrian Naude. "We have recently set out our key strategic objectives in terms of future growth, and these do not include the development of a large pharmacy division.
"Our main objectives in terms of transferring our pharmacy business have been to ensure that our customers have a seamless transition and maintain the quality of service they have been used to with Pick n Pay, and that our pharmacy staff are looked after."
Clicks, which will rebrand the pharmacies, has been on a drive to extend the reach of its network. This latest acquisition increases its number of outlets to 632 nationally.
All stock and staff will transfer to Clicks as part of the transaction, which is subject to approval by competition and regulatory authorities.
Vikesh Ramsunder, chief executive officer of Clicks Group, welcomed the move, saying that the acquisition "accelerates [the group's] strategy of extending the convenience and accessibility of the Clicks pharmacy network.
"Currently 50% of the country's population live within six kilometres of a Clicks pharmacy and we aim to improve this over time as we get closer to customers."
In April, Pick n Pay said that its annual performance was impacted by a series of alcohol bans implemented in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 crisis.