LDC backs Pharmacy Services provider Ashtons
Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services (Ashtons) has secured a significant investment from mid-market private equity investor LDC.
The deal will help the existing management team to drive organic growth, further develop its software services, and expand its pharmaceutical warehousing and distribution infrastructure.
Headquartered in Brighton, Ashtons provides medicine management solutions to the UK independent healthcare sector and its services include clinical pharmacy support and the supply of medication.
Through its nationwide network of specialist clinical pharmacists and bespoke software technology, Ashtons’ services help clients to comply with healthcare regulations, professional and best practice requirements regarding medicine management.
In the last three years, Ashtons’ revenues have increased by 70 per cent to reach £18.7million in 2019, and the company currently employs 90 staff. LDC’s investment will support the business’ organic growth strategy, as it continues to develop its infrastructure and distribution network, and enhance its technology platform.
LDC is backing the business’ experienced management team of Chief Executive Officer Yachna Tak, Chief Pharmacist Martin England, and Financial Director Keith Hersee. The deal also marks an exit for the Founder Laurence Sprey.
The investment was led by LDC Director Christian Bruning and Investment Director Joe Tager, who will both join the board. As part of the deal, software specialist Mark Goddard, joins as Chairman. Mark has experience of developing fast-growing software businesses and was previously the CEO of LDC-backed Property Software Group.
Yachna Tak, CEO of Ashtons, says: “We have developed a market-leading proposition so that our customers can better support their patients through our outsourced pharmacy service and bespoke software solutions. LDC’s investment and support will help us further improve our proposition, enabling our clients to maintain the best practices and professional standards in medicines management and the highest quality of patient care.”
Christian Bruning, Director at LDC, adds: “Yachna and her team at Ashtons have built a thriving business model with a loyal customer base and the potential to grow into new markets. With more than 20 years’ experience each, the management team know the sector inside out and clearly value the role technology and software play in improving the services they offer. We are looking forward to supporting the team on the next stage of its growth journey.”
LDC’s investment in Ashtons adds to its strong heritage in the healthcare sector. LDC has invested in excess of £275million to partner with more than 35 healthcare firms. Recent investments include healthcare communications specialist Lucid Group and medical communications and marketing organisation Fishawack. Other successful partnerships include Quantum Pharmaceutical which exited via IPO in 2014 as well as pharmaceutical manufacturer Penn Pharma and leading clinical trials business Synexus.
Banking facilities were provided by Silicon Valley Bank.
LDC was advised by Clearwater International, BDO (financial and tax), DLA (legal), Candesic (commercial due diligence) Intechnica (IT) and Matrix (Insurance). Ashtons was advised by EMC, DMH Stallard and PwC.
The management team were advised by Osborne Clarke.