The acquisition of the entire Avicenna estate is expected to close “by late summer”, the organisations announced today (July 10).
Avicenna will continue to operate as its own business under the same name, led by the same management team and staff, but “will be supported by the wider resources and capabilities of Juno”, Avicenna said.
Milton Keynes-based Juno Health acquired Ashchem Chemists in 2017, a group of 15 pharmacies located in and around Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyneside and Sunderland.
Day Lewis currently provides management services to the 21 Avicenna pharmacies and will manage the gradual transfer to Juno Health, Avicenna CEO Salim Jetha told C+D.
Criteria for acquisition
Speaking to C+D this morning, Mr Jetha said the group's strategy when finding a buyer was: “There should be no redundancy for all our staff who served us extremely well; there should be no conflict of interest with our suppliers; the Avicenna name and ethos will continue; and shareholders will receive fair value for their investments.”
He is “truly delighted” that Juno Health met all these criteria and the pharmacy group “will bring improved benefits to our members over time”, including investment in both HR and technology.
“Juno Health is seeking to increase its retail presence and the technology and expertise they bring to Avicenna will be great help to the independent sector,” Mr Jetha explained.
“What has impressed me the most is that Juno is looking for long-term investment and we will be fine tuning both our ideas in due course.”
“Good response from members”
Avicenna was founded in 1992, initially as a co-operative buying group, “with a shareholding option open to all independent Avicenna members”, Mr Jetha explained.
“The response so far from our members has been fantastic,” he said of the sale to Juno Health. “Some will use the proceeds to support their business, some are excited that the management team will continue with increased support.
“I have spent most of my life supporting the independent sector, and I will continue that path,” Mr Jetha added.
Juno Health chairman Richard Smith said: “Avicenna is a well-established business delivering clear benefits to its members. It is one of the most recognisable brands among independent pharmacists and extremely well respected.
“Together we look forward to building on Avicenna’s success and enhancing the quality of service provided to members.”