Uniphar continues expansion strategy with Sisk Healthcare acquisition

It is understood that Dublin-based Uniphar Group plc has agreed to pay €65 million for Sisk Healthcare. The deal, which has been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission subject to certain conditions, will be the fourth such acquisition by Uniphar in 12 months. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed but it is understood that Uniphar has agreed to pay the agreed sum in cash (with some of it deferred for two years), plus equity for the healthcare distribution business of Sisk Group.

The move cements Uniphar’s ambitions to become a pan-European provider of wholesale and outsourced specialist services in the broad pharma and medical sectors. Uniphar is already a leading provider of outsourced services to the pharmaco-medical sector in Ireland and the UK, and has a diverse customer base. It operates from Ireland, the UK and the Benelux region and has annual turnover of about €1.3 billion.

Uniphar chief executive, Ger Rabbette, spoke about what the Sisk deal will do for company’s expansion strategy. “Our current acquisition strategy seeks businesses with strong management teams and good potential for growth which Uniphar can help to accelerate and realise. We see the acquisition of Sisk Healthcare, along with our other recent transactions, as creating a strong platform for growth in the provision of outsourced and specialist services to pharmaco-medical manufacturers and being key to the development of a successful pan-European business.”

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has imposed certain conditions on the deal after it became concerned that Uniphar could use its access to third parties’ commercially-sensitive information to influence the trading decisions of Sisk Healthcare. During the course of the investigation, the CCPC found that confidentiality commitments relating specifically to orthopaedic products, diagnostic imaging products and custom procedure packs were necessary. It imposed a so-called firewall as a solution to dealing with the exchange of sensitive information between Uniphar’s pre-wholesale/logistics division and Sisk Healthcare’s wholesale business units after the deal is done. Uniphar said it welcomed the decision and accepted the commitments.

This is the company’s largest deal since its purchase of pharmaceutical wholesaler Cahill May Roberts in 2013. Earlier this year it purchased specialist medical devices distributor Macromed Ltd. In April 2017 it acquired the multichannel account management provider OUTiCO Ltd, followed by a healthcare insights specialist Clinical Cube Ltd in August 2017.


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