Uniphar buys 3 businesses to power its growth

Irish healthcare service group Uniphar has revealed plans to buy three companies that will scale the company considerably.

The acquisitions include Irish headquartered pharmacy services business Navi Group and two UK-based firms E4H and Devonshire Healthcare Services.

The combined revenues of the acquisitions come to €39m and the three deals will see 110 people join Uniphar.

“We are looking forward to working together to drive innovation across the sector”

“We are delighted to announce three acquisitions today, one across each of Uniphar’s divisions, which accelerates our strategic objectives and demonstrates our continued focus on identifying and executing compelling M&A opportunities that meet or exceed our strict returns criteria,”explained Ger Rabbette, CEO of Uniphar.

“E4H’s digital capabilities and innovative services advance our commercial model to become a market leading omnichannel solution for our pharma partners.

“Devonshire’s strong track record in servicing the MENA region unlocks new opportunities for our Product Access division and demonstrates our commitment to becoming a global leader in the provision of unlicensed and difficult to source medicines.

“Navi’s highly sophisticated digital offering will be leveraged throughout the Supply Chain & Retail division and demonstrates our commitment to delivering a differentiated and market-leading service offering,” said Rabbette.

The science of synergy

E4H offers a wide range of digital and communications solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, including brand and strategy commercialisation, digital development, omnichannel delivery, engagement and data analysis. E4H will be integrated into the Group’s Commercial & Clinical Pharma division, enhancing Uniphar’s value proposition of creating a truly differentiated omni-channel offering for pharmaceutical clients looking to commercialise their brands across Europe.

Devonshire has provided access to unlicensed and difficult to source medicines across the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region for 25 years to a broad variety of healthcare authorities, hospitals, overseas ministries of health and military agencies. Devonshire will be integrated into the Product Access division, expanding its global access into key hospitals in the MENA region for the benefit of both its On Demand and Exclusive Access businesses. Devonshire will benefit from Uniphar’s existing operational infrastructure and drive cross-selling opportunities between both businesses.

Navi drives innovation within the Irish pharmacy sector through leading digital platforms and consistent supply of quality pharmaceutical products to its Irish and MENA partners. The unique technology and value proposition of Navi combined with Uniphar’s scalable high-tech distribution facilities and digital platforms will deliver an even stronger offering to our Independent Community Pharmacy customer base. This acquisition is subject to approval by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and is anticipated to complete in Q2 2022.

“Navi and Uniphar have been partners for many years and share a common goal – to provide best in class services to community pharmacy, driven by innovative digital solutions,” said John Carroll, CEO of Navi. “We are looking forward to working together to drive innovation across the sector.”

Each acquisition includes an upfront payment plus contingent consideration payable upon achievement of certain financial hurdles and each are expected to deliver a Return on Capital Employed to the Group in line with Uniphar’s target rate of 12%-15% within three years.

The combined revenue of the acquisitions is €39m with the total increase in the number of colleagues joining Uniphar being 110 and expected annualised earnings accretion of mid-single digit.

Planning for the integration of these acquisitions is already underway and Uniphar said its experienced management and project teams will ensure integration is managed effectively to deliver the identified benefits.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.