Belfast Telegraph

Irish health firm Uniphar open to more acquisitions

Uniphar floated on the stock markets in London and Dublin during the summer, raising €135m (£116m) that was earmarked for expansion and reducing debt
Uniphar floated on the stock markets in London and Dublin during the summer, raising €135m (£116m) that was earmarked for expansion and reducing debt

By John Mulligan

Irish healthcare services group Uniphar would be willing to size up a transformational acquisition if it made sense for the firm and its investors, according to chief commercial officer Padraic Dempsey.

Mr Dempsey stressed the newly listed business had a "very robust pipeline" of firms it was looking to potentially acquire.

The group has set its sights on expanding across Europe with its commercial and clinical division.

It also wants to achieve a global leadership position with its product access unit.

"There's a huge drive and ambition to create a unique Irish organisation," Mr Dempsey said.

"If the right transformational deal came through, I think that Ger (Rabbette, Uniphar's chief executive officer) would give it huge consideration.

"It would have to be right for everyone - the employees, investors and customers."

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Uniphar floated on the stock markets in London and Dublin during the summer, raising €135m (£116m) that was earmarked for expansion and reducing debt.

It plans to double its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to about €90m (£77m) within five years.

"We're very confident that we have the firepower to double the business," Mr Dempsey said.

"We know the organic growth rates that we are achieving within the organisation and they are in the region of 7% to 8%.

"If something really transformational came along, that's a different discussion."

In May, Uniphar agreed to pay €30m (£25.7m) to acquire UK-based Durbin, a supplier of specialist medicines.

Durbin has offices in the UK and US and is active in 160 markets around the world.

The business is now a part of Uniphar's product access division.

This week, Uniphar announced the up to €40m (£34m) acquisition of businesses in Sweden, Finland and Ireland to boost its commercial and clinical unit, which provides outsourced services to pharmaco-medical manufacturers and other healthcare operators.

"We've been successful over the past five years in our mergers and acquisitions strategy," Mr Dempsey said.

"We've got a very robust pipeline of companies that we're looking at.

"We're very excited about our European opportunities in commercial and clinical. In product access we have to look at the US market as well."

Belfast Telegraph

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