1,000 jobs lost as pharmaceutical group enters administration

Doncaster Pharmaceuticals Group is one of three companies which form part of Converse Pharma Group to have appointed administrators.

The Doncaster-based business alongside Testerworld ad Eclipse Generics which trade as Doncaster Pharmaceuticals, DE Group, Crosspharma and Eclipse, have appointed Kroll to oversee the process of administration and have ceased trading with immediate effect.

The businesses which had a turnover of £300m and serve 4,000 pharmacies across the UK have faced a number of challenges with Testerworld having its operating licence suspended in 2021 by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

In Converse Pharma’s group accounts for the year to March 31 2020 it was noted that the board expected Testerworld to return to profitability within six months, following the partial reinstatement of the license at the end of April 2021.

Kroll managing directors Philip Dakin, Michael Lennon, and Jimmy Saunders have been appointed joint administrators of the companies and said they will work “closely with the relevant regulators, the management team and the group’s secured lenders to mitigate the impact on the pharmaceutical supply chain”.

Darkin said that the first objective was to wind down trading operations but added that “the possibility of some small trade sales of parts of the business has not been ruled out” as the administrators look to maximise the return for creditors.

Last year Converse Pharma Group secured a £50m asset based lending facility and a £10m debt facility to support the execution of its business plan. At the time, David Horry the group’s CEO said: This is really great news for the group and its employees across our businesses in the UK.”

The Doncaster-based group employs c. 1,000 people and has seen significant growth in both turnover and profitability since the 2013 MBO with group turnover increasing to £332m in the year ended March 31, 2020.