Lancashire portfolio management company in new health sector acquisition

A Chorley Investment portfolio management company has snapped up a £17m turnover health firm for an undisclosed sum.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 4:55 am

Buckshaw Village-based Handl Group has signalled its determination to further build its market presence in the health and wellbeing sector with the announcement that it has acquired the IPRS Group (Injury, Prevention and Rehabilitation Services).

The deal, which is the biggest yet completed by Handl Group, will see the four constituent IPRS brands become part of the Lancashire-based portfolio which includes Speed Medical, Corporé and EQL.

The move underlines chief executive officer Graham Pulford’s commitment to focus the group’s future on becoming a provider of a broad range of complementary services, incorporating people and technology, across different sectors.

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Graham Pulford from Handl Group

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Suffolk-based IPRS Group is an independent specialist organisation offering a diverse range of clinical products and services to the public and private sectors. CEO Martyn Jackson, who joined the business in 2004, has successfully led the growth from a regional provider of Physio services to a market leading, multi-disciplinary operation which turned over £17m in 2020.

It has four brands:

IPRS Health – physiotherapy, mental health and wellbeing for the insurance, corporate, NHS and occupational health sectors

Matrix Office Park Chorley home to Handl Group

IPRS Mediquipe - distributing Biodex functional assessment, rehabilitation equipment and training to elite sports, universities and the NHS

IPRS Aeromed - supplier of paramedic led, medical repatriation and other specialist services

PFAS - independent provider of quality medical assessments delivered in house using specialist health practitioners

All trade will continue under existing brands and all 300 IPRS Group employees will stay with the company as will the senior management team.

Martyn Jackson will remain as CEO, reporting to Handl Group CEO Graham Pulford, and will continue to lead the company through the next stages in its evolution.

Mr Pulford said: “This is a significant growth opportunity that will give us additional scale and new distribution channels in private medical insurance, as well as elite sport, an IPRS Group specialism. It will also further cement the relationships Handl Group currently has with the UK insurance industry.

“It is the biggest acquisition Handl Group has completed to date, and we intend to support IPRS Group’s ambitious growth plans through additional investment, access to the skilled people at Handl and also the acceleration of their already advanced digital offerings.”

“The group already has a proven model of growth and is poised to further enhance its market presence following a number of contract wins this year, both renewals and new business. There will also be a definite opportunity to sell the unique services of IPRS to existing handl customers.”

He said IPRS Group worked with a number of blue-chip businesses, including Aviva and QBE in insurance, as well as Vitality, ATOS, SERCO, and increasingly the NHS.

“We intend to capitalise on the synergies in our existing health businesses, which provide health and rehabilitation services to the insurance and legal markets”

Commenting on the deal, Martyn Jackson said: “I am particularly excited by the opportunities for further work in the public sector, where our scale and strengthened capabilities and infrastructure will open up opportunities to bid for larger government contracts.”