Juno Health acquires Ashchem Chemists

Juno Health Limited has acquired Ashchem Chemists – an independent group of 15 pharmacies employing around 120 people in North East England – for an undisclosed sum. BCMS advised the owner of Ashchem on the deal, which completed in 2017.

Ashchem was founded by Ash Aggarwal in 1981, and has since grown from a single pharmacy to a 15-branch network in and around Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyneside and Sunderland, employing 120 staff from pharmacists and dispensers to counter sales assistants.

Milton Keynes-based Juno Health is led by experienced CEO Mark Peatey, supported by a respected management team including Rupen Sedani (former superintendent of Sainsbury’s 277 pharmacies), COO Nick Clark (former UK Retail Operations Director at Lloydspharmacy), and Chief Commercial Officer David Gilder (formerly senior director at Lloyds Chemists PLC and Sainsbury’s). Juno’s board is led by non-executive chairman Richard Smith – formerly MD of Lloyds Pharmacy and CEO of Europe’s leading dental care provider IDH.

Deal insights

Mr Aggarwal said: “It has been an amazing journey growing Ashchem from a single outlet into the leading pharmacy chain in the region, and part of me is sad to leave it behind to start my retirement. Both staff and customers can rest assured that the business is in the safest of hands, led by one of the most experienced management teams in the industry.”

Juno’s Mark Peatey said: “The Ashchem estate is one of the biggest and most respected pharmacy groups in northern England. It was successfully grown by Ash Aggarwal over a 35-year period by focusing on patients’ clinical needs and employing well-trained, patient-focused staff.

“Juno Health is delighted to have acquired such a high-quality business. We are excited to be working with colleagues to create a group of pharmacies that delivers on Juno Health’s mission to become the local pharmacy brand of choice.”

Juno Chairman Richard Smith added: “I am absolutely delighted to be returning to community pharmacy, and I’m honoured to be working with such an experienced pharmacy team. I am extremely passionate about the benefits that pharmacy can bring to patients, and since making the difficult decision to leave Lloyds in 2009, I have experienced a great deal of innovation in healthcare provision globally. I look forward to contributing to community pharmacy again, and supporting Juno Health with their exciting mission.”