Northern Ireland news

Armstrong Medical acquired by Eakin in significant expansion of Co Down healthcare group

Jeremy Eakin, managing director of the Eakin Healthcare Group with John Armstrong, chairman of Armstrong Medical.
Ryan McAleer

ONE of the north’s most profitable healthcare companies TG Eakin has acquired Coleraine device manufacturer Armstrong Medical.

The north Down family firm, which recently rebranded as the Eakin Healthcare Group, has built up a relatively small, but very successful business over almost 50 years, specialising in ostomy and wound care products.

Last year it announced pre-tax profits of £16m on the back of a turnover of £33.6m.

Armstrong Medical, which specialises in respiratory products for use in healthcare, employs around 200 people in Coleraine.

Both companies are significant players in the global export market.

Comber-based Eakin Healthcare, which had just 80 staff on its books in 2019, said the acquisition represents a diversification, marking its entry into a new therapeutic area.

Managing director, Jeremy Eakin, said the move will be backed by investment to develop new medical products for the global market.

Mr Eakin’s father Tom first founded the company in 1974 after encountering patients experiencing problems with disposable ostomy pouches. He went on to design a manufacture his own seal and along with his sons Paul and Jeremy, went on to market their products worldwide.

The company now exports to over 30 countries through a network of 40 distributors

“This is a hugely important strategic acquisition of a well-established and successful Northern Ireland family business which has already made its mark on the global stage,” said Jeremy.

“Both family-owned businesses share a common culture and philosophy, and we see many synergies which we believe will underpin the continued success of both brands.”

Armstrong Medical staff will transfer to the Eakin Healthcare Group. Mr Eakin said some members of the Armstrong family will also stay on.

John Armstrong originally set up his firm in 1984 after recognising a need to develop critical care products, particularly for patients suffering from lung injuries due to the impact of bomb blasts.

It went on to develop a range of acute respiratory care products for critical, perioperative and neonatal care, exporting to more than 60 markets.

The company chairman said: “The Armstrong family remain passionate about the business, its workforce and its position in the local community and are keen to see its continued success in the years ahead.

“We believe that this is best achieved with the support and investment from the new owners where they now have the opportunity to realise exciting growth opportunities within the sector.

“The fact that we are selling to another successful family-owned Northern Ireland business with a shared ethos and approach gives us great confidence. I and other family members will be pleased to continue to support the ongoing efforts to grow the business under the Eakin Healthcare Group banner.”

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