Telus to buy LifeWorks for $2.3 billion

Deal Handshake

Canadian operator Telus will also take on $600 million in debt to purchase healthcare firm LifeWorks, claiming the move ‘accelerates Telus Health’s vision of employer-based healthcare.’

The $2.3 billion deal will allow Telus to incorporate LifeWorks’ employee and family assistance program and benefits administration capabilities to its existing suite of digital health technologies, which includes virtual and in-person care, support for mental health, a virtual pharmacy, home health monitoring, electronic medical and collaborative health records, benefits and pharmacy management solutions, and personal emergency response services.

The intention seems to be to bolster its position in the ‘next-gen employer digital primary and preventative health and wellness’ market. Combined with LifeWorks portfolio, the firm will have thousands of leading corporate clients in over 160 countries, which apparently covers more than 50 million people (or ‘lives’ as the release bizarrely phrases it).

“We look forward to welcoming LifeWorks employees and customers into our Telus Health family,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of Telus. “Today’s announcement will enable us to combine the respective skills and capabilities of LifeWorks and TELUS Health, creating a globally leading, end-to-end, digital-first employee preventative and mental health and wellness platform covering more than 50 million lives. Customers will benefit from our team’s steadfast focus on providing exceptional customer experiences over our world-leading broadband networks, our consolidated engineering talent that will incorporate best-in-class data platform technologies to positively impact health outcomes for employees and their families, and our significantly expanded economies of scope and scale.

Stephen Liptrap, President and CEO of LifeWorks added: “The Transaction represents an exciting new chapter for LifeWorks. The combination of TELUS Health and LifeWorks represents an unmatched opportunity to create a leader in employer-focused primary and preventative digital healthcare and mental wellness solutions on a global basis. Together, we will accelerate our shared vision of empowering individuals to live their healthiest lives by unifying the continuum of care through digital-first innovations, as well as our unmatched in-person care. Our two organizations also have shared values and are leading, purpose-driven organizations committed to improving the lives of people around the world. The fit for the LifeWorks team couldn’t be better.”

It certainly represents one of the more notable examples of operators veering out of their core competencies as connectivity providers, representing a significant investment into an entirely unrelated industry. The acquisition puts the combined annual revenue at an estimated $1.6 billion, though the deal is of course subject to LifeWorks shareholder, stock exchange and regulatory approvals.


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