Using new technology to change sick care to health care (Video)
WELL Health Technologies Corp. (TSX.V: WELL) is leveraging disruptive trends in the health and wellness space by strategically pursuing a proven blueprint M&A strategy in order to maximize profitable growth in the space. Target acquisition companies will be across various vertical industries within the health and wellness space and will maintain low capital requirements and high potential to take advantage of shifts in health trends.
Jim Gordon: I’m Jim Gordon. You’re watching Market One Minute. Joining us now is Hamed Shahbazi. He is the Chairman and CEO of WELL Health Technologies. Let’s start with some great news and an acquisition. Tell us more about that.
Hamed Shahbazi: Yes, we’re really excited. It’s a transformational acquisition for WELL. We’ve acquired 13 medical clinics in the province of British Columbia, which to our knowledge makes us at 19 clinics now in total, the largest provider of clinical services in terms of primary health care in the province that yields more than 600,000 patient visits per year and gets us close to about $30 million in revenue. It’s really quite exciting.
Jim Gordon: Sticking with the acquisition, can you talk a bit about how this will help on your road to success?
Hamed Shahbazi: Absolutely. It was very important for us to achieve scale and this acquisition really gets us there very quickly. With that scale, we intend on investing in technology and services. These would be services that are episodical and elective where patients would be able to take on things that are not covered by MSP like diagnostic services, health assessment, injectables, nutraceuticals, essentially new margin areas. We think patients are looking for and will contribute to their overall medical picture and really make that a win for patients and doctors.
Jim Gordon: Sticking with acquisitions, can we expect more from WELL Health in that area?
Hamed Shahbazi: Absolutely, we’re acquisitive. We’re very disciplined, so you’ll see that typically all our acquisitions are a multiple of single digit EBITDA, very value and deep value-focused M&A philosophy. You’ll see us make two types of acquisitions. Clinical assets like we have with the latest acquisition, we really like that asset class. It’s very durable, and we’re also going to be looking at software companies and digital health companies that help us with the digitization plans that we have with the industry.
Jim Gordon: Can you talk a bit about how patients and doctors will benefit from WELL’s efforts?
Hamed Shahbazi: Absolutely. This is what’s really exciting about doing this. As I mentioned, this industry has been a laggard in terms of the uptake of technology, all for good reasons. When you’re talking about people’s lives and care — technology can’t be experimental — but it’s really, truly come of age. In many regards, we are a little behind because of the fragmented nature of our clinical operations here in Canada. I believe with our scale we’ll be able to invest in technology — technologies from very basic things such as being able to book your patient visits online to being able to have access to your health records in a responsible way to empower you to make good decisions and stay in health. The idea here is to go from sick care to health care.
Jim Gordon: Sure. Can you talk about any institutional or prominent shareholders that have endorsed this really fascinating and successful story.
Hamed Shahbazi: Yeah, so we’re really excited about that. It’s actually early days for WELL, and we have quite a strong institutional following from amazing money managers here in Western Canada like award-winning guys like Dave Barr at Pender Fund to Sir Li Ka-shing, which is one of the most wealthy people in the world. He owns the largest chain of pharmacies in Asia, and very prominent investor, and has really endorsed us with a major investment of owning just shy of 20% of the company.
Jim Gordon: Last question for you. Can you describe your overarching objective for WELL?
Hamed Shahbazi: Absolutely. We feel that there’s been a chronic underinvestment in technology in primary health care in Canada. We think it’s born uniquely from lack of scale. We believe that we will improve outcomes. From a patient perspective, we will improve outcomes by being able to invest in technology and modernize the experience for both doctors and patients. From an investor perspective, we believe we’re providing investors access to an asset class that they probably did not have access to in as clean and clear way with WELL. By that asset class, I’m referring to clinical operations and primary health care.
Jim Gordon: Thank you for joining us today.
Hamed Shahbazi: Thank you. It’s great to be here.