ChemistDirect and Pharmacy2U merge in £40m deal

Young Gun-founded online pharmacy merges with competitor, creates combined customer base of 1.5 million

Online pharmacy companies ChemistDirect and Pharmacy2U have merged in a deal said to be worth more than £40m, supported by £10m in funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Founded in 2007 by Young Gun Mitesh Soma, ChemistDirect bulk buys everything from beauty to medical products before selling its wares UK-wide at a discounted rate.

Pharmacy2U was founded in 1999 by pharmacist Daniel Lee as an online mail-order pharmacy and recently opened a £3.5m dispensing hub in early 2016.

The merger will result in a combined customer base of 1.5 million, offering an online home delivery prescription service, clinical advice from pharmacists, an online doctor consultation services and a range of more than 6,000 health and wellbeing products.

ChemistDirect’s chief executive Mark Livingstone will take on the role of chief executive of the combined businesses.

Livingstone said: “This is a landmark moment for internet pharmacy in the UK. We are creating the leading ‘pure play’ business in the sector – with unrivalled experience, facilities and scale. It is the beginning of a new era of convenience and choice for millions more patients, as we open up the full potential of internet pharmacy for the first time.”

Richard Taylor of BGF, added: “This is BGF’s second significant investment since the Referendum vote, demonstrating that there are business owners and management teams that are forging ahead with their plans. That is a positive sign.”

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