Case Study

BGF invests £2m in Abbey Pharma to fund buy-and-build strategy

The Group was established in 2009 and is a fast growing, dynamic specialty pharmaceutical group that manufactures, distributes and sells prescription and ‘Over the Counter’ (OTC) products. Based in Maidenhead, Abbey Pharma is a rapidly expanding business that has shown consistent year on year revenue growth, delivered by the incumbent management team, led by Kevin James as CEO and Shafiq Choudhary as COO.

BGF’s investment, alongside senior debt funding from NatWest, has enabled the business to acquire Peckforton Pharmaceuticals (Peckforton). Based in Crewe, Peckforton is another specialty pharmaceutical company that will add new and complementary products to Abbey Pharma, doubling the group’s size and establishing a platform to support future expansion plans. The combined business will have revenues of c. £8 million.

Abbey Pharma has acquired Peckforton from the RisingStars Growth Fund and Coalfields Enterprise Fund, managed by Enterprise Ventures and the North West Business Investment Fund, managed by YFM Equity Partners. Both Enterprise Ventures and YFM Equity Partners are fully exiting Peckforton having seen sales at the company treble during the period of their investment.

Abbey Pharma has established itself as an important supplier to both the NHS and pharmacy wholesale markets ensuring the ongoing supply of pharmaceutical products with proven therapeutic value. Current products address therapeutic areas covering Ophthalmology, Oncology, Pain, Gastrointestinal, and Dermatology with Peckforton bringing a range of injectable products to the Abbey Pharma portfolio. The Group is expected to continue to develop therapeutic focus through further acquisitions.

Brian McEwan will join the business as chairman. Brian has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry having previously held positions as MD of Amdipharm Mercury Company Ltd (AMCo) and COO of Waymade Healthcare Plc.

Kevin James, CEO of Abbey Pharma commented:
“We’ve been speaking to BGF for some time now and they have been very supportive in their approach. We are confident that they are the right fit for us and they have a good track record of helping companies to expand through acquisition. BGF’s investment has already enabled us to complete the acquisition of Peckforton Pharmaceuticals and there are a number of other targets in our pipeline. We are thrilled that with their backing, we are now able to take advantage of these opportunities and look forward to working with them.”

James Austin, Investment Director, BGF commented:
“In Abbey Pharma we are backing a first class team in a rapidly expanding business with a strong platform for acquisitive growth. Their progress to date has been impressive, both in delivering on the existing portfolio to drive revenues and also in sourcing and completing acquisitions to expand their reach. The focus has been on building the therapeutic side of the business and delivering growth in specific areas and we are excited to be partnering with the team to help accelerate this strategy.”

The investment was managed for BGF by James Austin and Greg Norman.