Juno Health will continue existing services with further investment: Jetha

The Chief Executive Officer of Avicenna Pharmacy has confirmed that Juno Health has bought the independent pharmacy support group.

Salim Jetha told Pharmacy Business on Friday that the acquisition is expected to benefit Avicenna members because Juno Health promises to continue “existing services with further investment to enhance these”.

Jetha clarified that following the deal Avicenna would retain its brand name and would be led by the same team with no change or any redundancies.

With a significant sectorial experience and a desire to expand both retail chain and membership services it ticked all the boxes, he added.

The over a quarter of a century old Avicenna Pharmacy is owned collectively by 1200 independent pharmacists who are based primarily in the south of England.

Milton Keynes-based Juno Health is a relatively new entrant to the market with 23 pharmacies. It acquired Ashchem Chemists, a group of 15 pharmacies employing around 120 people in the north of England, for an undisclosed sum.

Richard Smith, Chairman of Juno Health said: “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.”

The company is backed by family-backed investment and comprises a leadership team of experienced pharmacy and multi-site retail executives.

For Jetha, this meant “they can take a long-term view unlike some other investment companies.”

Avicenna Pharmacy was on the lookout for a potential buyer who would continue to support independent pharmacies even better and provide fair value to its shareholders, whilst ensuring its name and ethos continued, staff were retained and there was no conflict with suppliers.

Explaining the context of the latest deal, Jetha said Avicenna had been looking for best options for its 21 members and mooting an exit strategy since 1992 when the company’s shareholding was opened to its members.

He believes “this deal will empower me to take it even further. Over the coming weeks, we will be fine tuning ideas from Juno and my team to take this forward.”

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