Forth Medical has been acquired by Uniphar plc

Major Irish pharmaceuticals wholesaler Uniphar Group has established a new presence in the United Kingdom with the acquisitions of Forth Medical and its sister company Northstar Orthopaedics. Arrowpoint Advisory's Healthcare sector team advised the founder shareholder of Forth and Medical.

Newbury-based Forth Medical is one of the UK's leading independent sales, marketing and distribution groups supplying single use surgical devices and implants to the UK hospitals market. Founded by entrepreneur George Strang in 1986, Forth specialises in bringing ˜bleeding edge" surgical technologies to the Neurosurgical and Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) markets. Northstar delivers a comparable service to principals serving the Orthopaedics market.

The acquisition provides Dublin-based Uniphar with an established presence in the UK and its first major involvement in the surgical instruments sector. Uniphar is the product of a merger between United Pharmacists Co-Op and Allied Pharmaceutical Distributors in 1994. United and Allied were both founded by pharmacists in 1972 and 1967 respectively and the roots of the UniPhar Group remain in community pharmacy and ownership is still held by community pharmacists. Uniphar's turnover has grown to over €705 million and the Group employs in excess of 600 people.

Jim Canavan, Uniphar Group CEO, commented: These investments are a great fit for UniPhar, in terms of the core competences in sales, marketing and distribution of medical and surgical devices, and also the ethos of customer relationships, which is the cornerstone on which these businesses have been built. We look forward to investing in these successful businesses and delivering future growth to their principals.”

The sale of Forth and Northstar represent Arrowpoint Advisory's third deal in the Healthcare sector in 2008, following the sale of healthcare consultancy Liaison in January and the merger of Medico-Legal Reporting to create Premier Medical Group in February.

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