Established Haverhill healthcare company acquired by Direct Healthcare Group

Graham Ewart, managing director of DHG
Graham Ewart, managing director of DHG

Haverhill based Kirton Healthcare, the UK’s leading manufacturer of specialist seating products, has been bought by Direct Healthcare Group (DHG).

The acquisition of Kirton Healthcare is the Group’s second bolt-on since private equity firm NorthEdge Capital supported an management buy out in April 2016.

Based in Caerphilly, DHG specialises in the development of clinically effective solutions for harm-free patient care.

With 190 employees and turnover of £21m, the Group consists of award-winning pressure area care business Direct Healthcare Services and bariatric rental specialist, Nightingale Care Beds.

Kirton has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of specialist seating solutions for a range of healthcare customers.

The business has developed a reputation as a market leader and is renowned for its specialist chairs, which are configured to suit a range of patient requirements and provide postural support and increased patient independence.

Graham Ewart, Managing Director of DHG, commented: “Kirton’s offering will fit seamlessly with the Group’s existing product and service portfolio and will allow us to provide more products and solutions to our UK customers, whilst growing our international footprint.

“DHG and Kirton share a customer and patient-centric ethos and are both committed to supporting healthcare professionals deliver harm-free patient care.

“We are delighted to acquire such a well-respected brand and highly committed team.

“We are also pleased to be able to extend best value to all our customers in the increasingly demanding area of specialist seating.”

George Potts, Investment Manager at NorthEdge Capital, said: “Graham and the team at DHG have demonstrated their ability to grow the business organically, and via acquisition, whilst continuing to develop a comprehensive portfolio of innovative and award winning products.

“The acquisition of Kirton adds to the company’s clinically differentiated product set and is the latest in a series of planned acquisitions.

“With Kirton’s high focus on patient care and a strong reputation amongst healthcare professionals, the company will integrate well within the Group.”

The AJ Way brand will still be available through Kirton Healthcare and AJ Way will continue trading as an NVM portfolio company.

The acquisition of Kirton Healthcare was supported with funding from Yorkshire Bank, delivered by Sunil Prabhaker, Director, Corporate and Structured Finance and Jane Hartley, Senior Director, Corporate and Structured Finance.

Jane Hartley, Senior Director, Corporate and Structured Finance, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “We are focused on supporting the success and prosperity of regional economies throughout the UK and we were delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in this landmark transaction.

“It was a pleasure to work with the management team and NorthEdge to help deliver this deal.”

Tom Barnwell provided debt advisory (Clearwater), Chris Heatlie and Matthew Molyneux provided financial due diligence (BDO) and Joseph Johnson provided property due diligence (Lambert Smith Hampton).