THE firm sponsoring Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium has been sold in a £40m-plus deal.
Galpharm Healthcare has been bought by American pharmaceutical supplier The Perrigo Group for 86m US dollars.
Barnsley-based Galpharm, founded by businessman and former Huddersfield Town chairman Graham Leslie, was put up for sale towards the end of last year.
The company, which has 64 employees at Dodworth, is the UK’s leading supplier of over-the-counter own-label medicines and healthcare products.
Following the deal, Perrigo adds Galpharm to its existing UK operations. It already has a site at Braunton, Devon, making over-the-counter medicines for pharmaceutical firms and operations at Swadlincote, Derbyshire, making vitamins, minerals, food supplements and herbal remedies.
A statement by the new owner said no immediate “operational changes” would be made as a result of the takeover and the Galpharm brand and business would continue to operate from Barnsley.
Perrigo UK human resources director David Tozer also reassured Town and Giants fans that Galpharm’s 10-year sponsorship of the stadium was unaffected by the takeover. The company is three years into the sponsorship deal.
Mr Tozer said that following the takeover, Mr Leslie and his son Craig had left the company to pursue other business interests.
Russell Howard, vice-president and managing director of Perrigo in the UK, said: “The purchase of Galpharm Healthcare consolidates Perrigo’s position as the leading supplier of own-label over-the-counter medicines and vitamins, minerals and supplements to major UK grocery and pharmacy retailers with a broader range of products.
“It means we can combine our current manufacturing and packaging expertise with Galpharm’s know-how to develop new products and offer our customers an improved service and a more flexible operation which will provide increased business growth opportunities.”
He said: “This acquisition is further evidence of Perrigo’s commitment to the UK marketplace and is another significant step in our growth strategy in both the own label market place and contract manufacturing.
“We are excited about our future growth prospects and the opportunities this acquisition and expansion provides.”
Mr Leslie, a former professional footballer, was involved in developing plans for the stadium during his time as a director of Huddersfield Town and during a brief spell as chairman in the early 1990s.
He founded Galpharm in 1982 with capital of £5,000 from Lloyds Bank and over the next 20 years built the business into the UK’s leading supplier of private label medicines.
Galpharm supplies over-the-counter medicines – including painkillers, children’s medicines, cough and cold remedies, treatments for upset stomachs as well as foot care, skin care and eye care products – to almost all the major UK multiple grocery and pharmacy stores.
On average, every person in the UK buys two to three packs of Galpharm-produced medicines every year at prices typically 20% to 75% less than the equivalent leading brands.
Galpharm-branded painkillers Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are the most widely used in the UK, significantly outselling other brands – while its brands of Cetirizine and Loratadine, used to treat hay fever and other allergies, are also market leaders.
The firm also sells products in Italy, Poland and Holland and sources products from suppliers in the UK, Ireland, USA, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, Israel and India.
Perrigo, which also has sites in Israel, Mexico, Germany, China and India, traces its roots to 1887 when founder Luther Perrigo set up a business distributing patent medicines to country stores from his premises in Allegan, Michigan.