UDG Healthcare

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UDG Healthcare plc
Traded asLSEUDG
Founded1948 (1948)
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Key people
Peter Gray, Chairman
Brendan McAtamney, CEO[1]
Revenue1,315.2 million (2018)[2]
114.1 million (2018)[2]
3.9 million (2018)[2]
Number of employees
8,700 (2019)[3]

UDG Healthcare plc, formerly United Drug, is a Dublin-based international company and partner to the healthcare industry, providing clinical, commercial, communication and packaging services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The company was established in Ballina in County Mayo as The United Drug Chemical Company, a co-operative controlled by Irish pharmacists, in 1948.[4] UDG bought Leicestershire-based Ashfield commercial and medical services for £12 million in 2000: Ashfield, a contract sales outsourcing firm serving pharmaceutical companies, had 400 employees at the time it was acquired.[5]

In January 2007, the company acquired Presearch, a UK laboratory services company, for GBP £2.9 million.[6] It acquired Pharmexx, a Frankfurt-based business, in July 2012.[7] In September 2012 it decided to move its primary listing from Irish Stock Exchange to the London Stock Exchange.[8] It changed its name from United Drug to UDG Healthcare in October 2013.[9] In February 2014, the company made its largest acquisition when it bought KnowledgePoint360 which specializes in healthcare communications for €105 million and made it part of its Ashfield division.[10][11]

In September 2015, UDG Healthcare sold its Irish drug distribution businesses to McKesson Corporation for $466 million.[12] In May 2016 UDG Healthcare acquired Pegasus, an integrated healthcare communications consultancy.[13] In October 2016 the company acquired STEM Marketing, a provider of commercial, marketing and medical audits to pharmaceutical companies.[14] In July 2017, the company acquired Vynamic; later in the same month it acquired Cambridge BioMarketing for up to $35 million.[15]. In August 2018, UDG Healthcare announced the sale of its Aquilant division to H2 Equity Partners, a European private equity firm, for a total potential net consideration of up to €23 million (approximately $27 million). [16]


UDG Healthcare plc operates across two divisions: Ashfield and Sharp.[17]


  1. ^ Michael Cogley (3 February 2016). "UDG boss Fitzgerald steps down from €2.5m-a-year role". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2018". UDG Healthcare. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  3. ^ "At a glance". UDG Healthcare. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  4. ^ "B2B Database with Highly Accurate & Detailed Profiles - ZoomInfo". zoominfo.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  5. ^ Irish buyer for Ashfield, This is Money (Daily Mail), May 7, 2000.
  6. ^ "United Drug buy UK lab distributor for £2.9m". RTÉ News. January 26, 2007.
  7. ^ United Drug snaps up Pharmexx Irish Times, 26 July 2012
  8. ^ United Drug set to shift to LSE FT, 5 September 2012
  9. ^ United Drug: Yes to name change Irish Examiner, 10 August 2013
  10. ^ UPDATE 2-UDG raises earnings growth forecast, sees deal paying off, Reuters.com (14 May 2014)
  11. ^ UDG Healthcare invests €105m to expand communications unit The Irish Times, 27 February 2014
  12. ^ Roshni Menon (18 September 2015). "UDG Healthcare to sell two units to McKesson for $466 million". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  13. ^ "Healthcare Group UDG buys UK's second largest PR firm Pegasus for £16.8 million". 19 May 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  14. ^ "UDG Healthcare acquires STEM Marketing for £84m". PM Live. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Rare disease agency Cambridge Bio goes global with $35M buyout by Irish UDG - FiercePharma". www.FiercePharma.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  16. ^ "UDG Healthcare sells non-core Aquilant division and reviews Ashfield business". 8 August 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Sharp Packaging Services, a division of UDG Healthcare plc, announces capacity expansion in the US and UK". FT. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.

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