Recent acquisitions by Day Lewis and employee-owned chain Green Light Pharmacy are proof of the continuing health of the market, a brokerage expert has said.
Day Lewis announced last week that it had passed the “significant milestone” of owning 250 branches with the purchase of an Essex pharmacy chain, while Green Light Pharmacy in London announced it had expanded from five to seven branches.
Linda Drabwell, sales manager at broker Hutchings Consultants, said the current level of pharmacy purchases showed “there are lots of opportunities for both first-time buyers and small to medium groups”.
Pharmacy groups were competing for premises, with businesses offering “well over our guide price” if they “really want” a specific pharmacy, she told C+D. “If it will fit in with their shops and they have a presence location-wise, they can be prepared to go the extra mile and pay a premium price,” she said.
Day Lewis said it was “on track” for its target of owning 400 pharmacies by 2020, and Ms Drabwell said she could not predict whether the company would reach its goal in time. “It depends on how competitive their bids are and if it fits their criteria in an area where they already have some [branches],” she said.
Both Day Lewis and Green Light secured bank loans to fund their expansions, and Ms Drabwell stressed that banks were “definitely” willing to loan to pharmacies.
“A pharmacy that’s doing a good turnover is always guaranteed income,” she added.