A family-owned drugs firm has been sold in a £58 million deal.
Kent Pharmaceuticals Holdings Limited (KPHL), based in Orbital Park, Ashford, is now part of DCC Healthcare after its acquisition by its DCC Vital subsidiary.
Kent law firm Brachers played a key role the transaction, advising the majority shareholders in one of the largest deals handled by the firm in 2012.
Kent Pharmaceuticals is a family business set up in the early 1980s. It went on to become Britain’s largest independent generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer and leading wholesaler.
It is involved in the development, manufacture, sales, marketing and distribution of generic products for the British, Irish and international markets.
It offers more than 100 own label products, with a manufacturing plant in Ireland supplying the UK with some 60% of the total penicillin antibiotics sold.
DCC Vital, a healthcare services business, provides sales, marketing and distribution services in Ireland and Britain to healthcare providers, medical and pharmaceutical brand owners and manufacturers. DCC Plc is based in Ireland with a workforce of 9,000.
DCC plans to combine the Kent business to create a pharmaceuticals business with combined turnover of around £123 million. A spokesman said there were plans for expansion which could involve more jobs.
Mike Overy, KPHL chairman, is staying on. He said: “The shareholders believe this transaction provides a fantastic opportunity to continue the growth and development of KPHL with a partner that is committed to expanding in the generic pharmaceutical market both locally and internationally.”
He paid tribute to the Brachers' team led by corporate partners James Bullock and Philip Cunningham.
“We could not have achieved it without the hard work and expertise of the corporate team at Brachers," he said.
"We needed a legal team that can negotiate at the highest level and under great pressure, Brachers delivered."
Mr Bullock said: “Brachers has a long-standing relationship with the shareholders of Kent Pharmaceuticals.
"This is a fantastic deal for them and the county as a whole: a Kent business that has grown from scratch to a multi-million pound business that is now part of a major international group with plans to invest heavily in the business."
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