Belfast Telegraph

Endosurgical jobs saved as HSL buys out Northern Ireland subsidiary

By Rachel Martin

Northern Ireland medical equipment firm Hospital Services Ltd (HSL) has taken over a business whose parent company was at the centre of allegations into breaches of procurement procedures.

And HSL said the purchase would ensure it continued its growth - particularly following the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.

Endosurgical Ireland is currently in liquidation following the allegations made against it last year in an RTE investigation.

Now its Northern Ireland subsidiary, which is based on Belmont Road, has been bought by HSL.

HSL chief executive Dominic Walsh said: "We now have a very strong presence in Northern Ireland and Ireland with our Belfast headquarters and offices in Sandyford, Dublin, both of which have highly experienced and knowledgeable teams.

"As we operate across both jurisdictions, we have a very focused business plan to ensure that we are able to continue our growth, particularly in this time of uncertainty following the Brexit vote, and ultimately have ambitions to further extend our customer base in Great Britain in due course."

Abbreviated accounts for Endosurgical NI showed net liabilities suffered a loss of over £55,000 in the financial year ending December 2014.

The same year, the company employed seven staff with an average salary of almost £44,000.

A spokeswoman said: "Endosurgical NI Ltd was not part of the RTE investigation and the underlying normalised trading business is and remains profitable."

The deal will save the jobs at Endosurgical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurosurgical Ireland. Bosses at HSL say they hope the deal will allow the firm to up turnover from £10m to £18m.

It is also hoped the takeover will allow the firm to grow its workforce from 33 employees in the UK and Ireland to 56.

HSL was bought out by management in October last year. The deal was supported by private equity investment management company, the Foresight Group, which invested £4.5m. The company was established in Northern Ireland in 1962 and branched out to the Republic the following year.

Mr Walsh said: "Following our MBO last year, the Foresight Group has proven to be a supportive investor in our business. From the outset, we planned to develop the business significantly through strategic acquisitions and organic growth.

"We have a very clear vision for our business and this acquisition has provided us with an accelerated growth opportunity at exactly the right time.

"The purchase of Endosurgical (NI) Ltd complements HSL's existing portfolio and will give us an unparalleled range of surgical equipment, medical devices and consumables."

HSL supplies equipment for radiology, ophthalmic, endoscopy and surgery. It also sells surgical gloves and instruments for keyhole surgery.

Belfast Telegraph