Williams Medical Supplies

Deal summary

Catalyst Corporate Finance advised the shareholders of Williams Medical Supplies ('Williams'), the UK’s leading supplier of medical supplies and services to UK healthcare providers, on the sale of the business to DCC Plc, in a deal valued at £45 million. The transaction provided a successful exit for Livingbridge which invested in Williams as part of a management buy-out (MBO) in 2007.

Williams supplies a wide range of own and third party branded products - medical equipment, consumables and pharmaceuticals - to a very broad customer base of c.10,000 GP practices, as well as healthcare providers in the community care and domiciliary care sectors. The business also provides a range of services including field based testing and calibration and repair and maintenance of equipment. The Williams business model is based on telesales, e-commerce, product catalogues and key account management, supported by high quality IT systems and cost effective logistics.

DCC plc is a FTSE 250 sales, marketing and distribution business operating in the Energy, Environmental, Technology, Healthcare and Food & Drink sectors. The acquisition of Williams, with its market leading position in primary care and developing positions in community care and domiciliary care, secures for DCC the most comprehensive sales and distribution network in the British and Irish healthcare markets.

What difference did we make?

Through our long held relationship with the business, we recognised the need to invest significant time with the recently formed management team to assist them in articulating and proving the strategy of the business ahead of engaging with potential buyers. We also recognised the importance of focusing on a handful of strategic trade buyers, rather than a widespread trade and Private Equity process, to ensure value was demonstrated by the provision of bespoke information and sufficient time could be invested with the most likely buyers.

This approach also allowed a strong relationship to be built between the Williams and DCC management teams which, alongside the understanding we had of DCC as a buyer, ensured the inevitable issues that arise in deals of this type were dealt with commercially and expediently.

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What our client said
"Many thanks to Catalyst for all their support throughout the process - it has been an interesting and rewarding learning curve." Hugh Hamer
CEO, Williams Medical Supplies