ASDS has acquired 50% of BR Pharmaceuticals

BR works across the UK, Europe, Middle East and African markets, supplying and marketing health and personal care brands such as vitamins and supplements and home pregnancy tests to thousands of independent pharmacies, through wholesalers and distributors.

Based at its head office and distribution centre on Clayton Wood Close, in West Park, Leeds, Mr Byrne has already started on the acquisition trail, looking for UK and international brands to supply to the company’s growing domestic and international markets.

The Abu Sheikha business, established in 1994, is self-made and run by the family of 10 brothers, headed up by Omar Abu Sheikha. Mr Abu Sheikha started his career in pharmaceuticals with Abbott Laboratories, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with 70,000 employees in 150 countries. As a sales rep, he was given Saudi Arabia as a territory to develop from scratch.

Twenty three years later, he was managing director, overseeing the whole of the Middle East market.

He decided to put that expertise into his own venture. His nine brothers returned to Jordan from various parts of the world to support the new family venture.

Mr Byrne said: “I have known the Abu Sheikha family for many years and I have total respect and admiration for what they have created and achieved within their family business.

“We have talked about being in business together many times but now the timing was right with everything falling into place this year.”

Mr Abu Sheikha and his brothers have flown over to the Leeds headquarters to meet BR’s staff, and outline their growth plans for the business.

“This is a very exciting time for the business. I am now with a partner who has the vision and ambition to help take BR to new international markets,” said Mr Byrne. “We will be working on building a new infrastructure for the company and opening an office in Jordan very shortly.

“We will also be looking to recruit the right people to grow with us and boosting sales both in the UK and internationally.”

Mr Byrne believes there is a “massive opportunity” to continue the company’s overseas expansion in the Middle East and Africa as well as new markets such as South East Asia and Latin America. BR’s international sales have increased by 40 per cent in the last two years. Mr Byrne said a “significant increase” in turnover was planned after Mr Abu Sheikha’s investment.