Wednesday 26 September 2018

Sam McCauley kicks off €50m pharmacy acquisition spree

€5m purchase of Dublin and Cork pharmacies part of nationwide strategy

Sam McCauley CEO Tony McEntee
Sam McCauley CEO Tony McEntee

Fearghal O'Connor

Pharmacy chain Sam McCauley has embarked on a €50m acquisition spree that will double the size of its business over the next three years, this newspaper has learned.

The company - which owns and operates more than 30 retail pharmacies nationwide - confirmed that it has just acquired two pharmacies in Dublin and Cork for a total of €5m, and that this was part of its overall growth strategy.

Market sources estimated the total investment planned by the biggest Irish-owned pharmacy chain would top €50m. The planned acquisition spree will help it challenge the dominance of the two big British-owned players, Lloyds and Boots.

The group also plans to announce what it described as "an exciting city centre green-field location" in the coming months as part of moves to build its presence in the capital, as well as most urban and provincial locations throughout Ireland.

The pharmacy chain was bought in a €50m deal last summer by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) a private-equity partnership of US buyout giant, Carlyle Group, and local investment house, Cardinal.

The two pharmacies acquired in the initial deal are Life Pharmacy in Clondalkin, Dublin and Fermoy Medical Hall in Fermoy, Cork. They have a combined turnover of over €5.5m, bringing annualised turnover for the group to approximately €90m. Group staff count will rise to more than 600, with plans to recruit further, the firm said.

"As an ambitious business, we are excited to be expanding our presence in Dublin and Cork and look forward to serving the people of those communities," said Sam McCauley CEO Tony McEntee.

"Both acquisitions are part of a growth strategy for the business that will see Sam McCauley Chemists grow its presence in Dublin and larger provincial locations throughout Ireland. Whilst we will be opening green field sites, we believe that the bulk of our growth plans will be delivered through acquisitions."

The group operates 32 stores across Ireland including in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cavan, Meath, Tipperary and Kerry but could grow to more than 60 outlets within three years.

McEntee said that the combination of the group's access to significant funding and "our ability to promptly complete transactions puts Sam McCauley Chemists in a great position to continue to add to our portfolio over the next few years, with a number of other significant opportunities already under active consideration".

Sunday Indo Business

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