Wednesday 23 May 2018

Uniphar pays €100m for Sisk Healthcare in latest buyout

Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette said Sisk is ‘excellent fit’
Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette said Sisk is ‘excellent fit’

Gretchen Friemann

Irish pharmacy wholesaler Uniphar has snapped up Sisk Healthcare, a medical device distribution firm controlled by the Sisk family, for over €100m.

The deal was flagged earlier this year, and will result in members of the wealthy Sisk dynasty receiving €65m in cash over two years along with equity stakes in Uniphar, the State's largest integrated healthcare supply and services provider.

In total the deal equates to over €100m in value and entails executive earn-outs.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed by either party and Sisk Healthcare's ultimate ownership structure remains unclear.

It is understood the healthcare firm, which employs 220, is no longer part of the Sisk Group, the construction behemoth founded in Cork in 1859.

A spokesman for Sisk Healthcare declined to spell out the ownership structure.

But he said the transaction "represents an important step in the ongoing growth of Sisk Healthcare".

He stressed that the merger will "see the continuity of involvement of the Sisk Family, who will become shareholders in Uniphar plc, and the senior management and wider team in Sisk Healthcare, who have successfully grown the business to date."

Sisk has four divisions: Cardiac Services, Med Surgical, Tekno Surgical and Synapse Medica, and according to its website, has become a "market leader in the medical distribution and device industry".

The deal comes as Uniphar, chaired by Maurice Pratt, the former chairman of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) as well as the ex-CEO of drinks firm C&C and the former face of Quinnsworth, attempts to beef up flagging margins in its retail services arm.

In a letter to shareholders last Christmas, Mr Pratt described the division's margins as "stubbornly low".

The swoop on Sisk Healthcare marks the fourth acquisition made by the company in the past year.

In April 2017 it acquired the multichannel account management provider OUTiCO Limited, followed by healthcare insights specialist Clinical Cube Limited in August 2017.

Earlier this year, it acquired specialist medical devices distributor Macromed Limited.

The deal reflects Uniphar's ambition to become a pan-European provider of wholesale and outsourced specialist services to the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Ger Rabbette, Uniphar's chief executive, said: "We see the acquisition of Sisk Healthcare, along with our other recent transactions, as creating a strong platform for growth".

Mr Rabbette also described Sisk Healthcare as an "excellent fit".

Irish Independent

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