New Harbor Exits Wedgewood Pharmacy

New Harbor Capital has agreed to sell Wedgewood Pharmacy, one of the largest veterinary drug compounders in the United States, to Partners Group.

Compound medications are prescriptions and medication orders that are written by physicians, veterinarians and other authorized prescribers when there is no commercially available alternative. The prescriptions are prepared by specially trained pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Wedgewood has commercial relationships with over 66,000 veterinarians and directly serves hundreds of thousands of animal patients throughout the US every year including dogs, cats, birds, horses and some less-common animals such as amphibians, hippopotamus and reptiles. Wedgewood was founded in 1980 and employs over 700 people in New Jersey, California, Colorado, and Arizona. The company, led by CEO Marcy Bliss, is headquartered near Philadelphia in Swedesboro, New Jersey.

“I will be forever grateful to New Harbor for their passion for our mission to improve the lives of animals and those who love them,” said Ms. Bliss. “They understood from the beginning the importance of quality, care, and our people, and their investment worked to improve every aspect of what we are able to deliver to our patients, caregivers, and team.”

During New Harbor’s ownership term, the revenues of Wedgewood tripled through growth in the animal health market – due in part to the continued trend to humanize the treatment of pets – and through three add-on acquisitions including Arizona-based competitor Diamondback Drugs (July 2018); Colorado-based Wildlife Pharmaceuticals and its Wyoming-based ZooPharm subsidiary (August 2020).

Both Wildlife and ZooPharm are compounding pharmacies that provide veterinary-anesthesia and pain-management medications for non-domestic animal species, wildlife, captive exotic breeds, and companion animals; and the buy of a 22,000 square-foot, FDA-registered 503B facility from San Jose-based Leiters Enterprises (May 2020).

“We sincerely enjoyed working with Marcy and the entire Wedgewood team over the last five years,” said Jocelyn Stanley, a partner at New Harbor. “We greatly value their partnership and shared commitment to growth, excellence, and collaboration. It has been a privilege supporting the company during this exciting growth phase and we wish them great success moving forward.”

New Harbor invests from $10 million to $40 million of equity in companies that have from $3 million to $15 million of EBITDA. Sectors of interest include growth-oriented business services companies with an emphasis on the healthcare and education industries. New Harbor was co-founded in February 2013 by Tom Formolo and Ed Lhee, long-time partners at CHS Capital, and is based in Chicago.

“Partners Group takes a thematic approach to investing, and Wedgewood Pharmacy’s model of caring for animal patients through the provision of specialty healthcare fits well within this framework,” said Chris Russell, a managing director at Partners Group. “We pursue resilient, growing businesses benefiting from transformative trends, including the elevated importance of pets in our families. We look forward to working with Wedgewood Pharmacy on building further value in the business on behalf of all its stakeholders.”

Partners Group (SIX: PGHN) is a global investment management firm with over $96 billion of assets under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt. The firm is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and has over 1,500 employees across 20 offices around the globe.

This transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | December 15, 2020

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