Clearwater International advises LDC on its investment in Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services.
Clearwater International advised private equity investor LDC on its investment in Ashtons, which will enable the existing management team to drive organic growth, further develop its software services, and expand its pharmaceutical warehousing and distribution infrastructure.
In association with the transaction, the Clearwater International Debt Advisory team advised LDC in raising acquisition finance from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
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% to reach €21.4m (£18.7m) 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 Chief Executive Officer of LDC-backed Property Software Group.
The Clearwater International deal team consisted of Partner and International Head of Business Services Marcus Archer, Director and International Head of Healthcare Ramesh Jassal, Associate Director Will Arnold and Executive Carly Sinicrope. Debt advisory support was provided by Partner Chris Smith and Director Lachlan Dorrity.
Christian Bruning, Director at LDC said: “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.”
Yachna Tak, Chief Executive Officer of Ashtons, said: “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.”
Marcus Archer, Partner and International Head of Business Services at Clearwater International said: “The team at Ashtons have built a unique platform, providing essential outsourced pharmacy and medicines management services to their customers. With support from LDC, the business is very well positioned for continued growth in the UK independent healthcare market. We were able to provide full buy-side support to LDC and the management team through our healthcare and debt advisory teams underlining our private equity capability. We would like to wish the business all the best for the future.”
Ramesh Jassal, Director and Head of International Healthcare said: “The pent-up demand in medicine management outsourcing from the independent healthcare sector will continue to grow. Ashtons’ leading vision in patient support from its pharmacists, regulation expertise and live software capabilities is testimony to this. We will see this outsourcing trend continue in the foreseeable future.”