Finance Yorkshire makes £1.25 million investment in healthcare company

L — R: Alex McWhirter of Finance Yorkshire, Steve Stocks, Executive Chairman Boston Healthcare, Colin Darroch, MD Boston Healthcare, David Hardless, Park Place, Hamish Salmond, Finance Director Boston Healthcare.

A start-up pharmaceutical company has been given a helping hand to a healthy future after receiving Finance Yorkshire’s biggest investment to date.

Finance Yorkshire celebrated its first year of investing in business by giving Wakefield-based Boston Healthcare a major £1.25 million boost from its Equity Fund.

Boston Healthcare, a company set up in April 2010 by senior managers already working within the healthcare industry, will use the investment to procure, market and distribute a recently acquired portfolio of well-known pharmaceutical products.

The portfolio of over-the-counter (OTC) products produced by Boston Healthcare includes a range of sun protection products (Uvistat) and multi-vitamins (Dalavit) already available in high street retailers and pharmacies.

Steve Stocks, Executive Chairman of Boston Healthcare, said: “Our focus is on OTC brands that people know and have trusted in the past. We are looking to bring them back to life through more creative and innovative marketing, through partnering with our retail and wholesale customers and by increasing the on-shelf presence of each of our products.”

“When we met with Craig Hopwood, our Investment Director, there was a very good chemistry right from the start. He had a good understanding of what the business is about and had a genuine interest in the company. It was an exciting time for everyone involved.”

Colin Darroch, Managing Director explained that with more than 60 years industry experience between them, the senior managers of the company carefully considered the portfolio of brands before deciding to go ahead with the acquisition.

“The OTC market is very large and is being influenced by government pressure as people are encouraged to see their pharmacist for advice and purchase OTC treatments where possible to avoid seeing a GP.”

He said: “We had a look at these brands and looked at other options and decided that now was the time to get the deal done, get control of the brands and start on the marketing of them. Every product is going to have its own individual website – I am a strong believer in digital marketing.”

Craig Hopwood, Investment Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Steve, Colin and the other members of the management team. They are all impressive individuals with great sector experience and they have a clear strategy to drive future value. Healthcare is one of our preferred investment sectors and the OTC market in particular is a very interesting space given current dynamics. We have been investing in businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber for just over a year now and this is the Equity Fund’s largest investment to date.

Alex McWhirter, Chief Executive of Finance Yorkshire said; “This is a significant investment and demonstrates that Finance Yorkshire can operate at this level. The company needed investment and Finance Yorkshire were able to provide the right equity package to fit their needs. We intend to build on this success by completing more of these types of deals in the future.”

The deal was introduced by David Hardless of Leeds based Park Place Corporate Finance. David said: “I believe Boston Healthcare will be successful because its management team has the ability, energy and experience to re-invigorate the OTC brands it has acquired. To build Boston on a sound financial platform we wanted a partner who would invest in a genuine equity instrument. Finance Yorkshire’s willingness to do this distinguished them from competitors and made them management’s preferred partner.”

Financial due diligence was undertaken by BDO (Matt Copley and Chrisi Leslie) with Pinsent Masons (Peter Wood and Michelle Kershaw) providing legal advice. Management were advised by Park Place Corporate Finance (David Hardless and Richard Firth) and Gateleys (Paul Jefferson).

Helping a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development, Finance Yorkshire provides seed corn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2 million.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15 million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45 million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire