Telus to acquire LifeWorks in $2.9B deal

Vancouver telecom giant funding deal with mix of cash and stock

Vancouver-based Telus is set to expand its offerings with the potential acquisition of LifeWorks | Rob Kruyt, BIV

Telus Corp. (TSX:T) is looking to bolster its human resources offerings through an acquisition deal worth $2.9 billion.

The Vancouver-based telecom giant said Thursday it has entered into an agreement with Ontario-based LifeWorks Inc. (TSX:LWRK) – better known as Morneau Shepell up until last year – to acquire the latter’s shares at $33 each.

This would value LifeWorks at $2.3 billion, while at the same time Telus would assume $600 million in LifeWorks debt to bring the deal’s worth to $2.9 billion.

Telus will be covering half the deal with cash and the other half with its own shares.

Lifeworks shares were trading at $18.20 by the end of Wednesday and have since shot up to $30.66 as of 7 a.m. PT.

“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,” Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said in a statement, referring to one of his company’s divisions.

LifeWorks is known for specializing in human resources offerings spanning from the mental health resources Entwistle cited to the administration of pensions and benefits.

The Toronto company reported revenue of more than $1 billion last year and boasts a headcount of about 6,000 workers.

Meanwhile, the deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.