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Major acquisition for Dialogue from Montreal

Dialogue, a Montreal-based company specializing in virtual care that was considering going public this fall, completes the largest transaction in its fledgling history.

Posted Oct 7, 2020 at 7:00 am

Richard Dufour
La Presse

Management will announce on Wednesday the acquisition of Montreal-based Optima Santé Globale, considered a leader in the country in employee assistance programs (EAP).

The value of the transaction remains confidential. However, according to the Dialogue boss, Optima is the third largest company in its niche in the country in terms of revenue, after Morneau Shepell and Homewood.

"It's very interesting," said Chérif Habib, who expects Dialogue to make a giant leap forward with this transaction.

Dialogue, which currently operates a platform connecting patients and physicians, publicly announced a few weeks ago that it planned to launch in EAPs and use its technology to expand its offering in this sector. to increase.

Optima has a workforce of 80 employees and has over 2 million employee customers and nearly 3,000 healthcare professionals on its platform.

This acquisition brings the number of full-time employees at Dialogue to about 380. But it is in terms of the number of practitioners that the situation changes more. Dialogue has agreements with 600 healthcare professionals. By purchasing Optima this number rises to almost 4000.

Acquire expertise

Employee assistance programs will not be Dialogue's main source of income, but will become a major driver of growth. “The acquisition of Optima is a way to capitalize on their 27 years of experience in the market. Their experience and our technological know-how are a very good combination, ”says Chérif Habib.

The CEO recalls that Dialogue is a health company, but also a technology company. Dialogue's main business lines are telemedicine, mental health (programs for stress management, anxiety, sleep disorders, exhaustion, bereavement, eating disorders, etc.) and now employee assistance programs.

Dialogue's vision is to build an integrated health platform. Chérif Habib believes that employers want one platform and one business relationship to serve them. “Most importantly, employees and patients want their data in one place, so everyone they see has access to the same medical history.

Chérif Habib sees a "tremendous" opportunity for consolidation in the market and plans to make further acquisitions. "In telemedicine, but also in related services such as employee assistance programs.

Optima is Dialogue's largest transaction since it was founded four years ago. This is the third since the acquisition of Argumed in Germany earlier this year and the purchase two years ago of the Montreal-based DXA, an artificial intelligence-based sorting platform for managing patients to the appropriate medical resource.

Cherif Habib says he is currently negotiating with other parties and believes he will may announce a new transaction in a new market segment at the end of the year.

He also indicates that bankers have encouraged him to list Dialogue on the stock exchange this fall. “However, we have decided to focus on the acquisition of Optima and integrate it well, ”he says.

The issue of a possible stock market rise will be reviewed in 2021.

The main issue Shareholders of Dialogue are Sun Life Financial, White Star Capital, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Portag3 (Power Corporation, National Bank, SSQ, Intact, etc.).

Dialogue has hundreds of clients of various sizes, including Lightspeed, Stingray, Industrial Alliance, Hopper, WSP and National Bank.

Dialogue estimates the telemedicine market in Canada at $ 2 billion.

Written by Rahis

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