Healthcare sector mergers and acquisitions comment – April 2008


Overseas purchasers have been a noticeable feature of M&A deals in the healthcare and medical devices sector this month.

With overseas companies still keen to acquire high-quality assets in the UK, the sector is not experiencing many of the wider issues impacting on other industries. Healthcare businesses are largely operating in segments where the fundamentals are extremely positive and they therefore remain attractive to strategic purchasers that are hunting for suitable targets. Indeed, many overseas groups are using the opportunity to make cross-border acquisitions in key growth markets and many can still resort to large cash piles for bolt-on acquisitions. Buyers from the Asia-Pacific, India and the US are all featuring prominently in competitive processes and can be expected to remain keen to acquire in the UK for some time to come.

Deals completed in the UK

The Co-operative Group Ltd, the owner and operator of pharmacies, has acquired A Robertson & Son (Chemists) Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Robertson is an operator of three pharmacies in Fife.

Ultralase Ltd, the provider of laser eye treatment services, has acquired AllClear Clinic Ltd for an undisclosed sum. AllClear Clinic is a Belfast-based eye treatment clinic.

CareTech Holdings plc, the provider of care services for people with learning disabilities, has acquired Beacon Care Holdings Ltd for £22.5m. The acquisition will strengthen CareTech’s position in Southern England and allow it to offer in-house clinical support for people with more complex requirements.

Paion AG, the German drug developer, has acquired CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc for £10.9m. CeNeS is a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on the development of drugs for central nervous system (CNS) related interventions which will allow Paion to expand its drugs for the treatment of thrombotic diseases and CNS-related interventions in the hospital setting.

Assura Pharmacy Ltd, the operator of pharmacies, has acquired Harvey & Richardson (Holdings) Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Harvey & Richardson is an operator of a primary care health centre and several pharmacies in Oldham.

Bowmark Capital, the UK private equity firm, has acquired Healthcare Capital Ltd for £75m. Healthcare Capital is an operator of nursing homes. The deal represents an exit for August Equity.

Alliance Boots plc, the provider of healthcare distribution and retail pharmacy services, has acquired HF Healthcare Ltd for an undisclosed sum. HF Healthcare is an operator of 25 pharmacies some of which operate under the Healthcare Plus name.

Henry Schein Inc, the US distributor of healthcare equipment, has acquired Minerva Dental Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Minerva Dental is a Cardiff-based supplier of dental equipment.

Sexual Health Group plc has acquired Pasante Healthcare Ltd for £2.4m. Pasante Healthcare is a Lancing-based supplier of sexual health products.

AngioDynamics Inc, the US supplier of minimally-invasive medical devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and peripheral vascular disease, has acquired certain UK and US assets of Diomed Holdings Inc for £5.8m. Diomed is a US manufacturer of medical devices that is currently the subject of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The deal will strengthen AngioDynamics’ presence in the growing market for the treatment of varicose veins and expand its European operations.

Mobilis Healthcare Group Ltd, the supplier of medical sporting products, has acquired Société d’Action de Coordination & Diffusion International Sarl (SACEDI) for an undisclosed sum. SACEDI is a French supplier of medical sporting goods that will allow Mobilis to develop its presence outside the UK.

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