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Telus looks to its health with $1.77bn deal for LifeWorks

Darren Entwistle Telus.jpg

The international division of Canadian telco Telus will be selling business services to enterprises if its agreed C$2.3 billion bid for LifeWorks goes ahead.

The company has announced a bid, worth US$1.77 billion, for LifeWorks, which runs pension plans, absence management and other services for 25,000 organisations.

It will be part of Telus Health, but group CEO Darren Entwistle (pictured) said there are opportunities for Telus International to promote LifeWorks to its global clients.

“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,” said Entwistle.

He said opportunities include “complementing LifeWorks’ international relationships with Telus International’s proven expertise in digital transformation and client service excellence, as well as their expansive client base and delivery teams spanning 28 countries, to extend our offerings to customers well beyond Canada.”

LifeWorks is based in Toronto, and has offices across Canada and the US. It has offices in Europe, Russia, China and elsewhere.

Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of LifeWorks, said: “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.”

LifeWorks began as a pension company and moved into health benefits in 2006. As Morneau Shepell, it acquired LifeWorks in 2018 and later took its name. It the last few years it has acquired Australian, Netherlands and UK companies.

LifeWorks is small compared with Telus, whose CFO, Doug French, said it has 6% of Telus’s consolidated revenue, but only 3% of its earnings. But, he added, “this transaction is financially compelling and strategically attractive to Telus, and a natural complement to Telus Health, significantly accelerating our vision of advancing employer-based healthcare, increasing access to high quality, proactive healthcare and mental wellness for employees.”

He said there were “significant cross selling opportunities between our respective organisations, including Telus International in particular”.

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