IPS Specials


IPS Specials

IPS Specials

Sector: Health Care

Status: Realised

Fund: I

Deal type: Management buyout

Investment date: April 2010

Realisation date: November 2014

In IPS – now IPS Pharma – we saw a tremendous opportunity to take a business with exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and turn it into a national leader in the supply of bespoke medicines. 

We bought a majority stake in Surrey-based Vertical Pharma Resources, which traded as Integrated Pharmaceutical Services (IPS), in April 2010.

IPS Specials

IPS quote image

“The Elysian team had an in-depth understanding of our sector, which allowed them to understand the requirements of the management team. They worked closely with us to help develop a clear strategic vision for the business, to secure the growth of the company and create value. I liked their professional, can do and supportive approach.” 

Bela Patel

Operations director, IPS Specials

IPS Specials

IPS investment rationale

Investment rationale

We were introduced to IPS through our Yorkshire office. The company, founded in 2001 by Ashok Patel, had grown into one of the UK’s leading suppliers of medicines known as ‘specials’ – standard drug compounds adapted to meet the needs of individual patients.

It had demonstrated excellent quality and service with a loyal customer base of independent pharmacies within the M25.
We saw an opportunity to roll out the business, which had a low cost manufacturing base, through building a sales and marketing function. We also brought experience to support Ashok in implementing the systems, processes and infrastructure needed to take the company to the next level.


The specials market underwent significant change with the introduction of a new pricing tariff by UK government department The Department of Health and Social Care in November 2011.

This reduced the value of the market by about 30%, although the increased transparency in the market would benefit quality suppliers such as IPS in the long term.

This was a challenging environment for all specials companies but we supported the management and continued to invest in long-term projects.

Together, we transformed IPS into a national player with a scalable platform, increasing the number of employees from 19 to 54 at the time of exit.

Under our ownership, IPS:

  • Created a national sales force with customers throughout the UK.
  • Expanded into major multiple accounts.
  • Implemented a new IT system across the company.
  • Built a new laboratory, increasing capacity by five times.
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