TORONTO, Sept 12 Shoppers Drug Mart Corp
shareholders on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of Loblaw
Co Ltd's C$12.4 billion ($12.02 billion) bid to buy
Canada's largest pharmacy chain.
The deal with Loblaw, Canada's largest food retailer, was
approved by 99.89 percent of the votes cast by shareholders at a
The pending transaction is Canada's biggest merger deal so
far this year and comes at a time when Canadian grocers are
under increasing pressure from U.S. competitors like Wal-Mart
Stores Inc, which has ramped up its grocery offerings,
and newer entrant Target Corp, which offers a smaller
selection of food products.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first
quarter of 2014, still needs approval by the competition bureau.
The application to the bureau is expected to be submitted
shortly after Thursday's meeting.
Meanwhile, local rival Empire Co Ltd is acquiring
Safeway Inc's Canadian assets for $5.7 billion, cementing its
position as Canada's No. 2 grocer.