In 1997, together with management, we purchased Trinity Pharmaceuticals from South African Druggists.
A young company started only three years prior to our investment, Trinity had in a short space of time established itself as a well-managed, operationally efficient business with a strong market position in co-developing, licensing and marketing branded pharmaceuticals, primarily for cardiovascular and arthritic indications.
It possessed not only excellent product registration experience, but also a strong sales and marketing capability that enabled it to take products to market effectively. The growth potential of the business lay in under-exploited products owned by major drug companies where attention and resources were typically focused on "blockbuster" products.
With a strong foothold in the UK market, the potential for Trinity lay in establishing partnership strategies with large drug companies seeking UK distribution for their products. Post investment, we worked with Trinity to broaden its business portfolio, adding new product categories and additional branded generics and launching a second sales force dedicated to establishing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies seeking to out-license non-core products. Business milestones included securing strategic distribution rights for several significant compounds - all successfully launched followed by award-winning marketing campaigns - and forging preferred supplier status with several multinational companies including Boots, Pfizer and 3M.
In the space of two years, the business increased revenue by 100% and moved to significant profitability. The exit opportunities for the business were attractive, with multiple strategic buyers for local-country pharmaceutical companies possessing proven registration and sales capabilities. In May 1999, Trinity was sold to Chiesi Farmaceutici, a pan-European pharmaceuticals business.