Saturday 24 August 2019

Uniphar raises €150m in IPO amid acquisition drive

Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette. Photo: Brendan Lyon/Imagebureau
Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette. Photo: Brendan Lyon/Imagebureau
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish pharmaceuticals group Uniphar has raised €150m in its initial public offering (IPO) on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

The company floated at a price of €1.15 on the Euronext Growth Index in Dublin and London's Aim market yesterday.

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It was the first company to float on Euronext Dublin, formerly the Irish Stock Exchange, this year after a number of listings were postponed citing market turbulence late last year.

Uniphar will use the proceeds of the listing to complete the acquisition of UK pharmaceutical supplier Durbin, and to acquire bolt-on companies.

In addition, the money will be used to fund extra capital expenditure and working capital for growth of the enlarged business.

The group's strategy is to double earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) in the five years to 2023.

Ger Rabbette, chief executive of Uniphar, said: "I am delighted by the response we have received from the market to our business and the support shown for the significant opportunities that lie ahead.

"We have an ambitious strategy for expansion and growth in the coming years, and we are now very well placed to progress to the next exciting development phase."

Under the listing, the group is issuing 117,391,304 ordinary new shares. The share placing includes an over- allotment option of 13,043,478 ordinary shares granted to Davy, as 'stabilisation manager', which, if exercised in full, raises the gross proceeds to €150m.

Admission is expected to become effective on July 17.

Prior to the IPO, Uniphar's 1,100 owners were largely made up of the owners of independent pharmacies in Ireland, who are also core customers.

According to the company's own website, Uniphar's revenues last year were €1.55bn, gross profit was €159.6m, and earnings were €46.3m on a pro-forma basis. The firm has more than 2,000 employees.

The business had a turnover of €1.26bn, earnings of €19.4m and debts of €50m at the end of its 2017 financial year, the latest 12 months for which accounts have been filed.

Since that year-end, the company has made a number of acquisitions, including of the Bradley group of 20 pharmacies and the healthcare distribution business Sisk Group - both bought last year.

The bulk of revenue is generated in Ireland, where Uniphar is the biggest pharmaceutical wholesaler and distributor.

Irish Independent

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