Lancashire healthcare manufacturer sold in multimillion-pound deal


A firm which manufactures healthcare products has been sold for an undisclosed amount.

Vernacare has sales in excess of £60m in 64 countries anf employs over 250 people from its Chorley headquarters, its manufacturing plant in Bolton and its Canadian base in Toronto.

Palatine Private Equity completed the exit of Vernacare with the sale to H.I.G. Capital. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Established in 1964, Vernacare is a leading international healthcare products manufacturer, with infection-prevention as its core focus.

It has pioneered single-use toileting systems globally, offering patients hygienic and dignified care and provides healthcare institutions with efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound toileting and bathing solutions.

The company continually innovates and develops its product range in the areas of hygiene and surgical solutions.

Since Palatine invested in 2015, Vernacare has increased its global footprint with overseas turnover almost doubling to more than £20m.

In 2017, the company acquired and successfully integrated Synergy HCS, a manufacturer of wound care and surgical products, adding significant scale and expanding its product range.

The existing management team will be joined by James Steele who has a successful private equity background in the healthcare sector having been CEO of Attends Healthcare for twelve years.

Matt Miller, Chief Executive of Vernacare, said: “In the last four years Vernacare has made major steps forward in terms of scale and reach.

“A doubling of sales and profit though international growth and strategic acquisition has strengthened the business and perfectly positions us to invest further in international markets and in buy and build. Palatine have been a great partner, providing the financial backing to support this growth and working with us in developing and implementing our strategy. We thank them and wish them well.

“We are delighted to be backed in our next growth phase by H.I.G. Capital. In working with the team on the deal it has become clear their ambition and enthusiasm for the business is as strong as ours and we look forward to an exciting and rewarding partnership over the next few years as we invest further in our buy and build and organic growth strategy.”

Andy Lees, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, added: “Vernacare has made substantial progress over the last four years. Matt and the team have done a magnificent job of growing the business both organically and through acquisition. In particular, the successful integration of HCS was a game-changer, delivering significant expansion and synergies and raising the company’s profile, and we are proud to have supported this process.

“We wish the Vernacare team every success on the next stage of their growth journey.”

Clearwater International led by Phil Burns provided corporate finance advice, with Yunus Maka of DLA Piper providing legal advice. Buy-side legal advice was provided by Allen & Overy and corporate finance advice by Cavu Corporate Finance. Management legal, tax and corporate finance advice was provided by Tony Harper of Brabners; Colin Smyth of RSM and Ali Sharifi of Avicenna Capital respectively.

A team from Deloitte’s Manchester office comprising Jodi Birkett, Anika Keys and Alex Ault provided financial due diligence on the transaction.