Uniphar to buy healthcare arm of Sisk Group for €65m

Deal is Uniphar’s fourth in 12 months as it seeks growth across Europe

Dublin-based Uniphar Group plc has agreed to buy the healthcare distribution business of Sisk Group, subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed but it is understood that Uniphar has agreed to pay €65 million in cash (some of it deferred for two years), plus equity for Sisk Healthcare.

This would be Uniphar’s fourth acquisition in 12 months as it seeks to become a pan-European provider of wholesale and outsourced specialist services in the broad pharma and medical sectors.

In April 2017 it acquired the multichannel account management provider OUTiCO Ltd, followed by a healthcare insights specialist Clinical Cube Ltd in August 2017, while earlier this year it purchased specialist medical devices distributor Macromed Ltd.

It would also be the company’s largest deal since its purchase of Cahill May Roberts in 2013.

Diverse customer base

Uniphar, whose chairman is Irish retail veteran Maurice Pratt, is already a leading provider of outsourced services to the pharmaco-medical sector in Ireland and the UK, with a diverse customer base. It has annual turnover of about €1.3 billion and 1,500 employees in Ireland, the UK and the Benelux region.

Commenting on the deal, Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette said: "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.

“Our current acquisition strategy seeks businesses with strong management teams and good potential for growth which Uniphar can help to accelerate and realise. Sisk ... [is] an excellent fit for Uniphar and will work well within our expanding portfolio of standalone companies, all of whom collaborate to deliver integrated outsourced solutions in the healthcare sector in Ireland, the UK and the Benelux [region].”

Formed in 1994, Uniphar has three divisions: commercial and clinical, which includes the supply of outsourced and specialist services to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device manufacturers; lifecycle management, which focuses on product lifecycle management in the pharma and biomedical sectors; and supply chain services, which concentrates on wholesale and pre-wholesale distribution.