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Sterling Pharma Solutions

Sterling Pharma Solutions was founded in 1969 and is a service provider to the pharmaceutical industry. It specialises in complex small molecule chemical synthesis, producing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and High Potency (HPAPIs).

BVCA Vision 2022: North England and Special Accolade Winner

Sterling supplies a diverse and international customer base from 5 sites, serving circa 200 customers from the UK HQ in Dudley, with additional sites in Deeside (UK), Cork (Ireland), North Carolina and Wisconsin (US). The firm currently employs 1250 staff across all units.

GHO Capital identified the opportunity to add scale, geography and capabilities through a well-defined transformational M&A strategy and, in 2019, invested to support the international expansion of Sterling.

GHO was also able to support Sterling Pharma Solutions to invest in digital platforms to operate multiple sites in a uniform manner. Revenue grew by 61% in FY21 and by 58% in FY22 through new business wins, the expansion of the commercial team, the adoption of sophisticated commercial systems and by leveraging their solid reputation in the industry.

Post the GHO investment, Sterling focused on reducing its carbon footprint by investing in combined heat and power, purchasing gas to generate electricity, and by using wasted heat to generate steam. Sterling is ISO 14001 and 45001 credited; the former sets out criteria for an environmental management system and the latter focuses on occupational health and safety. It has also been awarded the gold Ecovadis rating, and is now aiming for the platinum award, which focuses on sustainability.

Kevin Cook, Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member, said: “2021 saw rapid growth of 20% at Sterling which is significant compared to the market growth rate. GHO’s continued support drove significant progress including the acquisition of a service and science-focused antibody drug conjugation business.”

Sterling Pharma Solutions was recognised for their exceptional performance in 2021 as part of our ‘Vision 2022’ initiative. Vision 2022, produced in collaboration with Grant Thornton, shines a light on the best management teams backed by the BVCA’s private equity and venture capital members.

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" ESG initiatives remain high on the agenda, with the completion of a combined heat and power plant and the initiation of an anaerobic treatment facility, reducing the Sterling carbon footprint by 50%. The roll out of SAP across the network is driving the vision for uniformity across sites and business efficiencies. The partnership has delivered on our expectations and more."

Kevin Cook, Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member
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