Could further healthcare acquisitions boost Wesfarmers shares?

Wesfarmers may be interested in a digital healthcare business.

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Key points

  • InstantScripts allows people to get online scripts, telehealth consultations, medical certificates and prescription medication
  • It has been growing revenue by more than 100% year over year
  • Wesfarmers is reportedly interested in buying the healthcare business

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) shares might get a boost by making another acquisition in the healthcare space.

The company already made a splash recently by acquiring the Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) business, which included Priceline and Clear Skincare Clinics.

Wesfarmers is in a battle trying to buy the Silk Laser Australia Ltd (ASX: SLA) business. It was announced yesterday by Silk Laser that Wesfarmers is not going to match the EC Healthcare bid for Silk Laser, but Wesfarmers "has indicated to Silk that its due diligence investigations are ongoing."

Now we're hearing the news that Wesfarmers could be getting closer to another potential deal.

Wesfarmers sniffing around InstantScripts

According to reporting by the Australian Financial Review, it's in talks with Australian healthcare business InstantScripts.

This business offers the ability for people to get online scripts, telehealth consultations, medical certificates and prescription medication. InstantScripts says that every one of its doctors is AHPRA-registered and fully insured.

Patients can get online prescriptions and medical certificates can be requested for $19, online pathology and online specialist referrals can be requested for $20, and telehealth consultations and treatment plans are available from $49. Anyone in Australia with a Medicare card or IHI number can access InstantScripts.

The business can do scripts for over 300 medicines, which the AFR said all of which are "low-dosage and low clinical risk for things like thyroid, urinary tract infections (UTI) or melatonin for sleep."

According to the AFR's sources, the attraction for Wesfarmers is that it can drive traffic to its pharmacies.

How is the business performing?

One of the main investors in InstantScrips is the technology investor business Bailador Technology Investments Ltd (ASX: BTI).

In mid-March 2023, Bailador invested another $10 million, taking its total investment value to $41.8 million. In that announcement, Bailador revealed that InstantScript's revenue had continued to grow by more than 100% year on year, reflecting "tremendous consumer demand for telehealth and digital healthcare in Australia."

Bailador said that InstantScripts is now completing more than 1 million patient interactions on an annualised basis across both its consumer and cosmetic healthcare segments. At the time, the Bailador co-founder and managing partner Paul Wilson said:

Under Dr Asher Freilich and Richard Skimin's leadership InstantScripts has delivered sustained and impressive revenue growth, all while reaching profitability. This a testament to InstantScripts' solution which consumers are embracing in large numbers. We remain very positive about the future growth opportunities available to InstantScripts.

Foolish takeaway

Discussions don't necessarily mean that a deal, or even a proposal, will eventuate.

InstantScripts may fit the sort of healthcare business that Wesfarmers is looking for – good revenue growth, a scalable business and exposure to the digital healthcare industry.

But time will tell whether anything develops and how this affects Wesfarmers shares.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has positions in Bailador Technology Investments. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Bailador Technology Investments. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Bailador Technology Investments and Silk Laser Australia. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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