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Life Pharmacy acquires Care Chemist Services

Life Pharmacy acquires Care Chemist Services to create platform for further expansion

Auckland, 2 May 2008 – Care Chemist Services Ltd and Life Pharmacy Limited (NZX: LPL) today signed a Heads of Agreement which will see Care Chemists joining the LPL group. LPL has acquired Care Chemists for an undisclosed sum and will continue to operate the Care Chemist franchise company as a separate legal entity.

The initiative will provide a long-term mechanism to continue to grow a community-based pharmacy franchise group within LPL by leveraging the complementary capabilities of both teams. It proceeds from their joint recognition of the critical role that skilled pharmacists play in the growth of pharmacy.

“The role of the pharmacist in the pharmacy and in the local community is a key differentiator, one that we know our customers value highly,” says Des Adams, founder of Care Chemist Services Ltd. “We are delighted to be involved with a model which focuses on providing measurable value to the pharmacist franchisee through recognising their unique role."

Des will continue to play a significant role in Care Chemist Services bringing the capabilities and values of the company into the extended group, making Care Chemist’s highly-respected professional services available to support pharmacies and pharmacists in the wider LPL group.

“The position of trust that pharmacists occupy in the community is the foundation of pharmacy service,” says Philip Ingham, CEO of LPL. “We are committed to developing programmes that ensure they remain visible to and personally involved with customers, at the same time enhancing the way their contribution is recognised by the wider industry and government agencies.”

In the immediate term there is the opportunity to offer franchisees a number of benefits:

* access to a strong buying group

* successful promotional programmes based on building individual pharmacist’s profile and value within the community

* a unique marketing programme based on increasing profitability by improving customer experience in-store

* significant intellectual property in the development and implementation of new professional services

* standard operating procedures for the operation of a pharmacy, to assist with Medsafe audits and other processes

The combined resources of the two businesses will enable the enlarged organisation to offer a well-considered umbrella brand to pharmacies which have, to date, generally been neglected by the major players. Professional services and other head office resources in the merged company will be directed to support the anticipated growth in franchisee numbers.

“The future of LPL is anchored in dispensing,” says Ingham. “Our ability to work jointly with Des and the Care Chemist Services group provides a real opportunity to enhance the role of the pharmacist in our communities through the Care Chemist model. The teams in LPL and Care Chemist Services have excellent complementary capabilities and I look forward to working together to grow the pharmacy sector and enhance the recognition given to pharmacists.”

ENDS

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