09/27/2017 12:54 EDT | Updated 09/27/2017 12:54 EDT

Metro Chain In Merger Talks With Jean Coutu

Trading in Metro, Jean Coutu shares was halted on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

A Metro supermarket is seen Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in Ste. Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Quebec. Regulators suspended trading of pharmacy retailer Jean Coutu Group and grocery chain Metro Inc. this morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL — Metro Inc. says it is in exclusive discussions regarding a merger with Quebec-based pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group.

Metro announced Wednesday the pair are discussing a deal in which Metro would acquire Jean Coutu at a price of $24.50 per share, to be paid in a mix of cash and shares.

It added that the Coutu family says it plans to support the proposed transaction.

Earlier on HuffPost — "Intense" grocery competition headed Canada's way:

The announcement comes after regulators suspended trading of both companies earlier Wednesday morning.

Jean Coutu has more than 400 stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

Metro has more than 600 stores in Quebec and Ontario.

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