Business Briefs News

MBI Business Brief – July 1, 2022

Neighbourly completes acquisition of Rubicon Pharmacies

Ontario-based Neighbourly Pharmacy Inc. has completed its acquisition of Rubicon Pharmacies for $435 million.

“This acquisition represents a combination of Canada’s community pharmacy leaders,” said Chris Gardner, Neighbourly’s CEO. “Rubicon’s locations are ideally positioned to expand Neighbourly’s presence from Manitoba to British Columbia, providing us with a significant and complementary footprint.  The pharmacies within this primarily rural portfolio are similar to our own, acting as the centre of healthcare delivery for smaller, underserved communities. However, our greatest similarity is our shared values: both companies place an unmatched priority upon patient-focused care. We are delighted to integrate Rubicon’s pharmacies into our network and welcome its more than 1,500 employees to our exceptional team.”

Rubicon owned 18 locations in Manitoba, including three in Winnipeg, and two in each of Flin Flon, Gimli, Brandon and Swan River.

Winnipeg sees new thriller series start work

Strong Studios Inc. announced on June 30 that production has begun on a new series in Winnipeg, titled SafeHaven.

Created by James Seale – who will serve as showrunner with Kaare Andrews – the 10 episode series tells the story of “high school comic artist Jenna Frost who must uncover the truth after horrifying visions come to life from her creations, threatening to destroy everything around her.”

“We have an all-star creative team and a fresh cast on board for this unique new series adapted from James Seale’s suspenseful and other-worldly graphic novel,” said Strong Studios’ president David Ozer. “We are thrilled to join forces with The Cartel on Safehaven, which will be our first series to go into production under our newly-formed Strong Studios banner.”

Manitoba Government supports local business through Innovation Growth Program

The provincial government announced this week it will provide $286,500 to four Manitoba-based businesses through the Innovation Growth program.

“Our government is committed to the ongoing support of small and medium-sized enterprises in Manitoba,” said Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen. “This program supports local innovation projects that create economic growth, expand exports and encourage private sector investment in new product development.”

The recipients are:

C2 Custom Furnishings Inc., East St. Paul: $85,000 to develop and commercialize a heat treatment system for beds and furniture that removes dust mites, allergens and bedbugs;

Marsix Solutions Inc., Winnipeg: $30,500 to commercialize a portable sprayer system that produces on-demand hypochlorous acid-based disinfectant for surface cleaning;

Optimus Gear, Winnipeg: $71,000 to commercialize a multi-use, crash-rated seat belt and buckle system for dogs; and

TaiV Inc., Winnipeg: $100,000 to commercialize a device that detects and replaces commercials in live TV with real-time targeted ads.

The Innovation Growth Program (IGP) provides eligible businesses up to $100,000 in non-repayable grants on a 50-50 cost-sharing basis for eligible projects that will develop or commercialize innovative products or processes.

“The funding we received from the Manitoba government’s Innovation Growth Program will be extremely helpful to accelerate commercialization of new innovative products that we want to bring to market,” said Carla Coyle, president and CEO, C2 Custom Furnishings Inc. “This grant will create jobs and economic growth in Manitoba and facilitate new products to be exported. Developing new innovative products involves a large amount of time, resources and money; the IGP will accelerate the process from Research and Development to Commercialization. We are very grateful for this partnership.”

The four projects are expected to create 81 new full-time jobs and $15 million in export sales within five years.

Coming soon: IGM Financial will announce its Q2 2022 results on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

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