Metro-Jean Coutu merger proposed

Shoppers walk into the Jean Coutu pharmacy on Ninth Street in Cornwall, Ont. Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The Jean Coutu Group is in exclusive talks with Metro on a merger. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

MONTREAL – Another merger between grocery and pharmacy chains is in the works.

The Metro grocery chain announced today that its discussing a deal where it would buy Quebec-based drug store chain Jean Coutu in a mix of cash and shares.

Metro added that the Coutu family is on board with the proposed transaction.

Jean Coutu has more than 400 locations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick while Metro has 600 stores in Ontario and Quebec.

Metro used to be on Vincent Massey Drive in Cornwall, before it closed in 2016 due to problems with meeting sales targets.

The closest Metro store to SD&G is in Casselman. There is also a Jean Coutu location there.

Jean Coutu has locations on Ninth Street West in Cornwall and Main Street South in Alexandria.

There are no further details on the proposed merger, such as how it will affect various locations.

It was four years ago Loblaw announced its purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart.

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