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Post-pandemic ‘change of direction’ led couple to buy Islay’s only pharmacy

Broker Christie & Co has announced the sales of pharmacies in the Inner Hebrides, Nottingham and Portsmouth.

Married couple Lisa and Simon Simpson are the new owners of Islay Pharmacy, the sole pharmacy on the Inner Hebridean island, Christie & Co announced last week (February 14).

The couple from South Shields said that the COVID-19 pandemic had prompted them to pursue a “change of direction” and a move into owning a community pharmacy.

When they noticed that the “quaint” island pharmacy had been placed on the market, they leapt at the chance to move to their beloved Scotland for a “total lifestyle change”.

The Simpsons bought the pharmacy for an undisclosed sum, Christie & Co said.

Read more: Revealed: 85% of pharmacy professionals want to buy or sell in 2024

Seller Sanjay Majhu, who bought the pharmacy in 2018, said that it was put up for sale after the “small group” that he runs changed its strategy to operate pharmacies nearer to Glasgow.

During his ownership, Mr Majhu grew the pharmacy’s turnover from £530,000 to nearly £700,000, he added.

He said that the pharmacy was “more suited for owner-operators”, adding that the Simpsons were “perfect candidates for this deal”.

Christie & Co said that Islay Pharmacy dispenses an average of 3,600 items per month for the island’s 3,200 residents.


First-time buyer duo


Christie & Co also announced the sale of Manns Pharmacy, a 5,000 items per month pharmacy in the Nottingham suburb of Mapperley last week (February 15).

Gurinder Singh Mann has owned the pharmacy for over 20 years and the sale has allowed him to retire, the broker said.

Manns was bought by first-time buyers and friends Mitan Maisuria and Rahul Patel for an undisclosed price, with funding sourced by Christie Finance, it added.

Read more: Podcast – the state of the pharmacy market in 2023

The broker revealed that both new owners will work in the pharmacy to “increase its service offering”.

Christie & Co director of pharmacy Carl Steer said that the broker had received “eight offers from five parties” for the pharmacy.

He added that he believed the pharmacy would flourish “being operated hands-on” by its new owners.


Pharmacy group expands


And earlier this month (February 5), Christie & Co revealed that Portsmouth’s City Pharmacy had been bought for an undisclosed amount by existing regional operator JCL (UK) LTD, which trades as Lalys Pharmacy.

Nyewood Healthcare owned the pharmacy for more than 25 years, building it to dispense an average of 6,900 items per month, the broker said.

Christie & Co added that the sale would allow Nyewood Healthcare to “concentrate” on its two West Sussex pharmacies. 

Superintendent pharmacist of Nyewood Healthcare Claire Johnson said that she was “very happy with the result”, with the business receiving “good interest…from the early stages”.

Read more: UPDATED: Family-owned Whitworth Chemists puts all 34 branches up for sale

Director at Lalys Pharmacy Raj Laly said that the regional operator – which runs pharmacies in Hampshire, Dorset, and Surrey - would be “integrating” the business into its group and would focus on “improving the services on offer”.

Director of medical at Christie & Co Jonathan Board said that the pharmacy, which boasts healthy dispensing numbers, footfall and space for services, was “typical of what is currently in demand”.

Mr Board added that there was “remarkable resilience” in the pharmacy market and “significant demand for well-established, well-located pharmacies”.

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