Chemist Warehouse Preparing for ASX Listing

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By Published On: December 8, 20230 Comments

Chemist Warehouse may be gearing up to list on the ASX in the New Year through an unorthodox route, emerging reports claim. 

Reports have emerged that multi-billion dollar pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse is preparing to list on the ASX following an ‘unorthodox’ reverse takeover of Sigma Healthcare.

It is expected Chemist Warehouse will buy a majority stake in Sigma, which owns more than 1200 pharmacies.

Sigma halted its shares on Wednesday, as it was ‘pending an announcement relating to a potential material transaction.’ The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sigma is planning on raising $350 million to provide more liquidity for what will end up being a larger business.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has expressed their concern over the apparent imminent takeover. The guild believes this takeover poses significant questions and risks related to patient care, community pharmacy ownership, competition, and the future of CSO wholesaling. It urges the Government and regulators, like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to address the potential risks.

“Medicines are not ordinary items of commerce,” reads the Guild’s statement. “We recognise, with the appropriate regulatory oversight, that franchising can and does legitimately and conveniently support many community pharmacies providing health and other services to their patients. Regulators must however be wary of increased corporatisation in the community pharmacy sector, and carefully scrutinise complex business models for compliance with community pharmacy ownership laws – laws designed to ensure that only pharmacists own, operate and control community pharmacies are in the best interest of patients.”

Chemist Warehouse has never been listed. Since its founding in 2000, the chain has grown into one of Australia’s most recognisable retail brands, expanding internationally in recent years, and is valued at more than $5 billion.

A statement from Chemist Warehouse is expected on Monday. 

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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