Dis-Chem’s purchase of a small loss-making business to expand further into insurance has caused some consternation around the health-care retailer’s broader strategy to build an integrated health-care ecosystem.

Based in the US, start-up insurance provider OneSpark was bought in a related-party transaction, with the founding Saltzman family and other Dis-Chem directors holding an interest in the business. Dis-Chem is investing R156m for a 50% stake, bringing in fresh capital to OneSpark, which made a loss for the four months to April of R25.3m...

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