Three Fylde Coast chemists snapped up by family firm

Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dock Street
Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dock Street

A father and daughter team of entrepreneurial pharmacists has acquired three pharmacies on the Fylde coast following a seven-figure funding package from Santander Corporate and Commercial.

The acquisitions complement their four other established pharmacies in the UK, including O’Brien’s Chemist at the Fleetwood Health and Well Being Centre.

Gerald and Aisling O’Brien, trading under GF O’Brien (NI) Ltd, have acquired two pharmacies in Cleveleys and one in Bispham to expand their presence on the Fylde Coast.

All three are well established in their local communities, with two located on the High Street and the third located within an all-purpose health centre.

Both Aisling and Gerald are qualified pharmacists, with Gerald having successfully built up and sold on 40 pharmacies over the past 45 years in and around Merseyside, the North West of the UK, and Northern Ireland.

He also has a track record of investing in other sectors including property, pharmaceuticals, plastics and leisure.

In 1999, Aisling bought her first business – Riverside Pharmacy in Liverpool – and worked there as the primary pharmacist for six years, more than doubling revenue.

The seven-figure funding deal with Santander builds on a long-term relationship between the bank and the O’Briens.

It also involves Santander becoming the full day-to-day banking partner for the holding company.

Aisling O’Brien said: “We have been looking to expand into the North West and are delighted to make these acquisitions.

“We have a strong track record of success in the UK pharmacy sector and this latest support from Santander has been a central part of us being able to seize the opportunity to expand and invest for growth.”

Richard Hennity, relationship director at Santander Corporate and Commercial, said: “Santander has extensive experience in the UK pharmacy sector and we are delighted to be able to help Aisling and Gerald capitalise on their own vast experience to grow in Lancashire.”

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