Northern pharmacy chain headquarted in Scunthorpe hits the market as family shareholders call time

A northern pharmacy chain headquartered in Scunthorpe has been put up for sale.

Whitworth Pharmacy, launched in the region in 1967, has developed into a 34-branch operation working from community and health centre based locations stretching from Blackpool to Skegness and Newcastle. It employs almost 300 staff and has also launched an online service.

Operated from a base on Foxhills Industrial Estate for the past six years, with a support centre and warehousing functions approved by the government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, a new owner is being sought following a strategic review by the family shareholders. They had continued to hold the business, following founder John Whitworth’s sudden passing in 2007. Described as a man who loved and lived for pharmacy, his death following a heart attack prompted staff to raise thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation. After opening his first pharmacy, he went on to form Doncaster Pharmaceuticals Ltd, supplying 3,500 pharmacies with medicines.

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Returning to his roots in 1999, three shops were acquired in Blackpool. The group now dispenses around 8,500 items per month, with volumes ranging from 3,000 to 22,000 items – generating a turnover of £28.6 million according to its last filed accounts for the year to April 2022. A £324,686 proft was recorded.

Jay Badenhorst, managing director at Whitworth Chemists Ltd, and superintendent pharmacist, said: “Whitworth Chemists Ltd has built a strong business over the last three decades, delivering a range of quality pharmacy services to a wide patient group across the North of England. The business benefits from an amazing, dedicated team delivering first-class pharmacy services daily. However, the time has come for the family shareholders to step back from the business, thereby offering a great opportunity for a new purchaser or purchasers to continue to build on the enviable reputation we have created.”

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has been instructed to sell the pharmacies as well as the Atkinsons Way site, described as an “opportunity which does not come on the market often” due to its credentials.

Jon Booth, director of pharmacy at Christie & Co, said: “We are delighted to have been engaged by the family and shareholders of Whitworth Chemists Ltd in this exciting project. Rarely does a group of this size and quality come to market and be offered for sale on a group, subgroup, or individual pharmacy basis, and we expect significant interest to be generated for the pharmacies.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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