Dis-Chem Acquires 50% Stake in OneSpark for R155.9 Million in Strategic Healthcare Deal

  • Dis-Chem Pharmacies Limited has entered into a significant transaction with OneSpark, acquiring a 50% stake for R155,940,228.
  • The partnership aims to enhance Dis-Chem's healthcare offerings by integrating OneSpark's innovative insurance solutions.
  • The transaction is subject to various conditions and has received an independent fairness opinion confirming its benefits.

Dis-Chem Pharmacies Limited has announced a significant strategic move. The company has entered into a binding Share Subscription Agreement (SSA) with OneSpark Proprietary Limited and OneSpark Holdings Inc., a Delaware-incorporated corporation. This transaction, valued at R155,940,228, sees Dis-Chem acquiring a 50% interest in OneSpark’s ordinary share capital. This article delves into the details, rationale, and implications of this transaction, which marks a notable development in the intersection of healthcare and financial services.

Details of the Transaction

Overview of OneSpark

OneSpark is a pioneering company in the life insurance sector, established by a team of experienced actuaries and engineers. It utilizes advanced AI and proprietary technology to offer innovative insurance solutions that transform the traditional insurance experience. As an authorized financial services provider (FSP 50594), OneSpark’s products are underwritten by Guardrisk Life Limited (FSP 76), a licensed life insurer.

Rationale for the Transaction

Dis-Chem specializes in the retail and distribution of pharmacy and healthcare products, boasting a large and expanding footprint. The partnership with OneSpark aims to enhance Dis-Chem’s ability to deliver a compelling customer value proposition. By integrating OneSpark’s financial services expertise, Dis-Chem seeks to augment its healthcare offerings, supporting its vision of increasing access to quality healthcare at the lowest cost.

Related Parties and Their Interests

Four Dis-Chem directors are indirect shareholders of OneSpark Holdings Inc. (HoldCo), making HoldCo a related party to Dis-Chem under the JSE Limited Listings Requirements (JSELR). The involved directors are Ivan Saltzman, Saul Saltzman, Laurence Nestadt, and Johannes Mthimunye. Consequently, the transaction is categorized as a small related party transaction as per Section 10.7 of the JSELR.

Financial Details

Net Asset Value and Financial Performance

As of April 30, 2024, the net assets of OneSpark, based on management accounts prepared under IFRS, are valued at R1,289,502. The losses before tax attributable to these net assets for the four months ended April 30, 2024, amount to R25,330,780. Despite these losses, the Board of Dis-Chem has verified the quality of the management accounts provided.

Conditions Precedent

The transaction is contingent upon the fulfillment of several conditions by August 31, 2024, or a later agreed date. These conditions include:

  • Conclusion of a written shareholders agreement.
  • Agreement on a new memorandum of incorporation for OneSpark.
  • Dis-Chem’s commitment to subscribe for cumulative redeemable preference shares in OneSpark, up to R200,000,000.
  • Acceptance by the JSE of an independent fairness opinion.

Independent Fairness Opinion

To comply with the JSELR, Dis-Chem appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance (Pty) Ltd (PwC) as the independent professional expert. PwC provided an opinion confirming that the transaction terms are fair to Dis-Chem’s shareholders. This opinion will be sent to the JSE for approval, and further updates will be communicated to shareholders.

Strategic Implications

Enhancing Customer Value Proposition

This transaction is set to significantly enhance Dis-Chem’s customer value proposition. By integrating OneSpark’s innovative insurance solutions, Dis-Chem can offer a more comprehensive and integrated health ecosystem. This move aligns with Dis-Chem’s strategy to provide affordable, high-quality healthcare services to a broader customer base.

Synergies and Future Prospects

The partnership between Dis-Chem and OneSpark is expected to yield considerable synergies. Dis-Chem’s extensive retail network and customer base, combined with OneSpark’s technological and actuarial expertise, can drive growth and innovation in the healthcare and insurance sectors. This collaboration can lead to the development of new products and services, further strengthening Dis-Chem’s market position.


Dis-Chem’s acquisition of a 50% stake in OneSpark marks a strategic advancement in its mission to enhance healthcare accessibility and affordability. The integration of OneSpark’s cutting-edge insurance solutions with Dis-Chem’s extensive retail network promises to deliver substantial value to customers and shareholders alike. This transaction underscores Dis-Chem’s commitment to innovation and its vision of a comprehensive, integrated health ecosystem.

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