Avicenna has agreed to sell its entire issued share capital, including its community pharmacy business, to the healthcare company Juno Health Ltd.
Avicenna CEO Salim Jetha said the deal, which is expected to be completed by September, will see Juno own all shares in the Avicenna group. This is set to include the company's buying and support operations, which provide services to over 1,000 independent pharmacy members across the UK.
Mr Jetha also confirmed that Juno would own Avicenna's chain of 21 retail pharmacies, which are largely based in south east England, "following a carefully planned transition period".
"The Avicenna buying and support group will continue to operate as its own business under the same name, led by the same management team and staff. The package we offer to our members is not affected by the acquisition. Instead we expect that it will bring improved benefits to our members over time," he told us.
"The beauty of this deal is that Juno takes a holistic view that investment will realise value to both retail and the buying group and are prepared to invest in both technology and HR to achieve that which is a fantastic news for the independent sector. I will continue my role to support the independents."
Juno says its management team includes individuals with experience of growing pharmacy chains. In October 2017, the company acquired Ashchem Chemists, a group of 15 pharmacies in north east England.
The company's website says it is “seeking conversations with pharmacy owners that are considering selling part or all of their businesses".
Juno chairman Richard Smith commented on the acquisition: "Avicenna is a well-established business delivering clear benefits to its members. It is one of the most recognisable brands amongst the independent pharmacist and extremely well respected.
“Together we look forward to building on Avicenna’s success and enhancing the quality of service provided to members.”