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‘Young’ distance-selling pharmacy owner picks up Manchester pharmacy

A bricks-and-mortar pharmacy in a Manchester suburb has been bought by a distance-selling pharmacy owner within 48 hours of hitting the market, a specialist broker has announced.

Specialist business property adviser Christie & Co last week (October 13) announced the sale of a community pharmacy in Crumpsall, around three miles north of Manchester City Centre, to a local distance-selling pharmacy (DSP) owner.

Higher Crumpsall Pharmacy, which had been owned by Roger Lee (Bak Kwan Lee) since 1985 and dispenses around 1,150 items per month, was sold to Nissar Ahmed for an undisclosed price to allow Mr Lee to pursue a “well-earned retirement”, it said.

Read more: ‘A natural fit’: Pharmacy2U joins CCA following LloydsDirect takeover

The business was sold to new owner Mr Ahmed, who plans to “fully refurbish” the unit and move in his existing DSP operation, within less than 48 hours of hitting the market, it added.

Mr Lee said that he had “challenged” the broker in February to finalise the sale so that he “could retire ahead of [his] seventieth birthday in November”.

Read more: Do online pharmacies face a profitable future?

“I think we were all surprised with the result when we launched - a viewing on the first day and a deal done within 48 hours,” he added.

And he said that he was “pleased” to see the business go to “an energetic, young contractor with a well-thought-out plan for the future”.


“Perfect” opportunity


Mr Ahmed said that it was a “perfect” opportunity for him to realise his “long-held plan of acquiring a standard hours contract pharmacy” that he could “move [his] internet pharmacy business into and hopefully, over time, integrate the two businesses”.

Read more: ‘Really proud’: Welsh Well pharmacy bought by 29-year-old pharmacist

“My team and I are looking forward to the challenge that begins with investing in the site to update and modernise the business from top to bottom, so watch this space,” he added.

He thanked Mr Lee for the “straightforward” handover and wished him “all the very best in his retirement after so many years of service to community pharmacy”.


“Willing to pay premium prices”


Christie & Co pharmacy business agent Tom Young said that the broker had received an “incredible response” to the pharmacy with “over 45 enquiries within the first few hours of marketing”, adding that Mr Ahmed was “very keen to view by the end of day one and, shortly after, the deal was done”. 

He added that Christie & Co has “seen a marked increase in deals across Greater Manchester in the last few years to DSP owners”.

Read more: Pharmacy sold to ‘award-winning’ couple despite funding ‘challenges’

“Often they just want a contract that is in a unit that offers them the space to move their existing operation into and, as such, if the location is right, they are willing to pay premium prices against other potential buyers,” he added. 

It comes after Pharmacy2U - the UK's largest online pharmacy - has joined the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) following its acquisition of LloydsDirect.

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