Loblaw Companies Ltd. is investing $75 million in virtual health provider Maple Corporation as the grocer continues to expand its footprint in healthcare.
The investment in Maple, the largest virtual care provider in Canada, gives Loblaw a minority stake in the company.
Loblaw and Maple already had a history together. The two partnered to make virtual care available at 160 Shoppers Drug Marts in B.C. And after COVID-19 hit Canada in March, they provided virtual care, including screenings for the virus, to thousands of Canadians.
Shoppers Drug Mart president Jeff Leger said the pandemic has shown that Canadians need alternatives to traditional health care.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that Canadians need new ways, particularly virtual ways, to get access to care,” said Leger. “We know that the future of healthcare is digitally enabled. We believe that our store network and infrastructure, combined with Maple’s technology can help better connect Canadians to the healthcare support they need, whenever and wherever they are.”
The investment into Maple is the latest in a series of healthcare investments made by Loblaw over the past decade, beginning with its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart in 2014. Two years later, it acquired QHR Corp., which was at the time a leader in the electronic medical records market, for $170 million.