Couple quadruple size of their pharmacy business

October 26, 2011

A COUPLE have quadrupled the size of their pharmacy business to £4m by taking over a larger rival.

David and Louise Lydon have bought Stanley-based Dixon and Hall, which runs three pharmacies and puts together first aid kits for 600 clients, including Northumbria Police and companies including Nissan and McNulty Offshore.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Dixon and Halls 32 staff at its pharmacies Stanley, Peterlee and Craghead join the Lydons Jarrow-based firm Chemcare.

Louise Lydon said: We have been looking for years to expand by buying an independent pharmacy business but there are so few around and they often get snapped up by big companies.

Chemcare ran one pharmacy in Jarrow, which the couple have built up since buying it in 2004. They have a lot of equity in that business and funded the deal with a loan from Santander. The company will now have 45 staff.

David Lydon said: Were delighted to have acquired a company with an excellent local reputation.

Our future focus is very much on growth and we believe weve developed a successful model which we intend to implement alongside the clinical innovation that exists within the target company.

Although the Dixon and Hall brand officially started life in 2000, its roots as a family-run business stretch back to 1950 when the Dixon and Spearman pharmaceutical company was founded.

Originally trading as Dixons Chemist, management of the firm passed from founder Harry Dixon to his son Noel and his co-directors Terry Spearman and Jacqueline Parkin.

Noel Dixon said: I was really keen to sell to David and Louise because they have a professional focus and I like their attitude to the staff.

There is a large element of sadness since I have worked with many of the people in the company for over 35 years. Im hugely indebted to them for their companionship and support.

My father started the business in 1952 from a single unit in Low Fell and the focus of the company has always been the communities we serve I am confident David and Louise have the same philosophy.

The sale of the business was facilitated by north east based accountancy and business advisory groups RMT and Baker Tilly. RMT Accountants, acted as lead advisor to Dixon and Hall and helped its directors find a suitable buyer. Baker Tilly were appointed as investigating accountants to Chemcare Limited and undertook the due diligence work required on the transaction.

RMTs corporate finance partner Maxine Pott, said: Because of the role the company played within its community and the reputation it had with its customers, it was really important for the owners to find a buyer which matched their views on how a business should be run.

Stuart McKinnon, Partner at Baker Tilly in Newcastle, added: This is an exciting acquisition for David and Louise and compliments their existing business. I have been impressed with their dynamism and focus.

Legal advice for the deal was provided by Sintons, acting on the behalf of the vendor, and Watson Burton who acted on behalf of the purchaser.

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