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Square One Law advises on sale of North East Pharmacy Chain Norchem to Midlands Business

North East pharmacy business Norchem has been sold to the Midlands based pharmaceutical distributor Lexon.

Norchem was established in 1960 to benefit independent pharmacists and now has 20 pharmacies and 245 employees across the region as well as a wholesale operation at its head office in Chilton, County Durham.

Pritesh Sonpal, Director of Lexon, said: “This transaction takes us to a total of 46 pharmacies in the group. With our existing distribution sites in Redditch and Leeds, this gives us the ability to further improve our service to the 1,400 independent pharmacies we currently distribute to on a daily basis.”

Drew Murdoch, former CEO of Norchem, commented: “I am delighted that Lexon has acquired the business as they have demonstrated their long term commitment, not only to the retail stores, but more importantly to independent pharmacy as this has been the core principle of our business from its beginning.”

The shareholders of Norchem were advised throughout the deal by KPMG and Square One Law.

The Square One Law advisory team included Senior Partner, Ian Gilthorpe, Partner, James Bryce and Associate, Ashraf Ali. Gilthorpe commented: “This was an interesting project for Square One Law, supporting a diverse shareholder base in delivering a good outcome for all parties and providing a good platform for the future growth of the business.”

KPMG’s Mark Booth, Head of Retail Pharmacy, and Michael Downes, Associate Director, led the Corporate Finance advice. Booth commented: “This sale is a great result for Norchem’s shareholders and employees and represents a valuable investment in growth for Lexon.

“Against a backdrop of regulatory change we are seeing a resurgence of M&A activity in retail pharmacy which is set to continue during 2015.”

Alison Herdman, Chair of Norchem Group said: “We were really pleased with the service delivery from our North East based advisers and in particular the way they worked together to achieve the best outcome.”


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