Sam McCauley chemist plans major growth

The new owner of Sam McCauley Chemists which operates 30 chemists and an online store plans to aggressively expand the chain after paying around €50m for a significant majority stake in the firm.

Equity fund The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund has indicated it aims to double the sales of the group, which posted a turnover of over €74.78m in 2015, by growth and acquisitions.

Samuel McCauley, the main shareholder in the Co Wexford-based retailer, has retained a sizeable minority stake in the firm.

The chain has most of its outlets in Munster and runs a number of stores in Cork and Dublin. It employs around 600 people across the chain.

The 2015 accounts — the latest of which are available for its holding company, Sam McCauley Chemists — show it had a pre-tax profit of over €2.98m, up by over €1m from 2014. Bank borrowings across all the maturities of loans fell to €10.16m from €13.48 in 2014.

The company had paid an interest bill of €507,372 on those bank borrowings and other finance costs.

It also paid out €3m in dividends to its shareholders in 2015.

The directors who owned the group in 2015 were listed as Sam McCauley, Patrick McCormack and Gerard McCauley.

Mr McCormack, who has run the chain for 10 years and had guided its expansion into beauty products, plans to step down when the deal is completed.

Tony McEntee, previously chief executive at Allcare Pharmacy and finance director of Lifestyle Sports, will join as the new chief executive at the chain.

The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund has made seven other investments here in recent years, including in AA Ireland, Payzone, Carroll Cuisine, Lily O’Brien’s, and Abtran.

Cardinal Capital Group director Ian Daly, said: “We are delighted that our first Irish retail sector investment is in an outstanding business servicing both patient and consumer health and wellness needs.”

Mr McCauley said that the business had been successful over the years by launching new products and services.

He joined the family-owned business in 1978 when it then consisted of a single shop in Enniscorthy.

He said that the Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund investment will help the chain develop further.

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