Daryl Katz

Daryl Katz History

Katz Group’s history has been defined by the bold and long-term vision of its Founder, Daryl Katz, for building great businesses in pharmacy, sports, entertainment, real estate, hospitality and retail. Today most of Daryl’s business enterprises are housed in OEG Inc., a North American leader in sports and entertainment, retail cannabis and hospitality.

In 1991, after a short stint practicing franchise law with a local Edmonton law firm, Daryl founded Katz Group and acquired the Canadian franchise rights to Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy for $300,000. Between 1994 and 1999, Katz Group acquired Rexall, PharmaPlus and Drug Trading Co, which included the Guardian and I.D.A. banners, rapidly gaining national scale and purchasing power. In the ensuing years, Katz would rebrand the company under the iconic Rexall name to build Canada’s second largest integrated pharmacy business.

In 2006, Daryl Katz led a $25 million fundraising effort for the University of Alberta Pharmacy School.

In 2008, Daryl Katz acquired the Edmonton Oilers, one of the NHL’s most storied and valuable franchises, along with the three-time Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. A lifelong Edmontonian and Oilers fan, Daryl acquired the team with a clear vision and purpose in mind. That vision had two essential components: (1) to secure the Oilers long-term future in Edmonton; and (2) to use Edmonton’s dire need of a new arena as a catalyst to help spur the ongoing revitalization of Edmonton’s downtown core. In 2010, Daryl Katz began making good on that vision by assembling what would become a 25-acre parcel of contiguous real estate in downtown Edmonton; and in 2012, Katz unveiled plans for ICE District—which would become North America’s second largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district. That same year Katz sold I.D.A. and Guardian, the independent franchise pharmacy businesses of Rexall, to McKesson Corp. for C$900 million.

In 2014, Katz Group acquired the Bakersfield Condors, which would become the Edmonton Oilers top affiliate, playing in the American Hockey League; partnered with the City of Edmonton to develop Rogers Place, an award-winning, world-class sports and entertainment venue; and began construction of ICE District Phase 1.

In 2015, Katz acquired a significant ownership interest in Oliver & Bonacini, a leading Canadian restaurant, hospitality and event group—which would eventually lead to Katz holding a majority ownership position.

In 2016, Katz Group sold Rexall Health to McKesson Corp. in a transaction valued at C$2.9 billion. The same year, Daryl joined Edmonton’s Mayor to cut the ribbon on Rogers Place during a spectacular event in Ford Hall—the gateway to the arena and a major programmable space in its own right.

In 2018 Daryl Katz and Katz Group sold Edmonton Tower, one of the commercial towers developed as part of ICE District, to AIMCo for C$400 million. That same year, Oliver & Bonacini acquired Concorde Entertainment Group expanding OEG’s hospitality business.

In 2019 Katz Group acquired the master franchise rights for Tokyo Smoke, the leading cannabis retailer in Ontario; sold the recently developed Stantec Tower, Canada’s largest building west of the CN Tower in Toronto, to DEKA Immobolien in a transaction valued at more than C$500 million; opened JW Marriott ICE District, the first luxury hotel to open in the heart of Edmonton in decades; and welcomed residents to ICE District’s SKY Residences and Signature Suites.

The strong momentum continued in 2020, when the NHL selected Edmonton as the Hub City to host the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Place and JW Marriott ICE District—a monumental task that brought out the best of Katz Group and Edmonton’s ability to host major public events, even in the face of a global pandemic. This effort was rewarded in 2021 when the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) selected Edmonton and Rogers Place to host the 2021 World Junior Championships.

In 2022, Katz Group reorganized to house its major sports & entertainment, retail and hospitality businesses under OEG Inc.

In September 2022, as the next chapter in its story of rapid growth, cross-country expansion and Canadian market leadership, OEG Retail Cannabis (OEGRC) acquired 23 Tweed and Tokyo Smoke stores from Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC) in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to the retail locations, OEGRC also acquired the Tokyo Smoke brand as it continues to lead in customer experience, product quality, choice, value and loyalty programs.