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US medical giant snaps up Cheshire wound care company Crawford for ?100m

A British wound care specialist has been bought by an American medical devices giant in a deal that is understood to be worth more than ?100m.
Crawford Healthcare, which is based in Cheshire and makes specialist dressings for oozing wounds, has been acquired by Acelity, a company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, which is considered to be the biggest wound care company in the world with annual sales of $1.87bn (?1.39bn) and employing some 5,000 people. Crawford, by contrast, made sales of ?30m last year and employs 150 staff.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is understood to have valued Crawford at more than ?100m.
It's a coup for the company’s chief executive, Richard Anderson, who “nearly went bust” trying to make a success of the business he founded back in 2004 and which at one point had just two employees working out of pokey offices in the northern town of Knutsford.
US medical giant snaps up Cheshire wound care company Crawford for ?100m

Richard Anderson, CEO Crawford Healthcare
Mr Anderson said the deal wasn’t about the money, but finding a parent company that was the right fit.
“We’ve grown quickly but needed to reach other territories with our products, so when we looked at the options we had, front of my mind was execution and delivery of our plan,” he said.
Acelity has a huge global sales force, marketing to 90 different countries, to which Crawford will now have instant access.
Mr Anderson will continue in the role as chief executive of Crawford and oversee the integration process.
Manufacturing will remain in Chester for now, but the company will “look at all the best options”, Mr Anderson said.
Crawford has a broad portfolio of products, many developed at its in-house labs and manufactured in a factory just down the road from head office.
One of the most exciting medical products is a super-absorbent hydrofibre dressing that soaks up fluid, sealing it away and contains silver at a special concentration to kill bacteria.
The deal with Acelity was 12 weeks in the making, Mr Anderson said, and came after Crawford turned down several other suitors, both large and small.
“It’s very freeing to have reached this agreement, but also very exciting because I genuinely want to take the company to the next level and for us to do that as part of a larger group makes the execution risk smaller,” he said.
“We want to replicate some of the success we have had so I think a bit of the Crawford DNA will be transposed into the larger group.”
Mr Anderson isn't the only person to benefit financially from the deal. One of the company's founding  investors is businessman Richard Hughes. Mr Hughes founded online clothing retailer boohoo.com, of which he is a director, and is also the founder of investment bank Zeus Capital.
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