The Academic Research Partnership (ARP) has bought a majority stake in the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine (GCRM), reportedly creating the UK's largest provider of NHS and private IVF services.
According to a statement, the move is ARP's third 'partnership' in the UK and follows mergers with the Oxford Fertility Unit and IVF Hammersmith.
GCRM managing director Paul Mitchell told The Herald newspaper that the company had grown significantly since it was founded and 'in terms of business development, [the buyout] was the next logical step'.
Established in 2006, GCRM is based in Glasgow with a satellite clinic in Edinburgh. Three of the four GCRM shareholders will stay with the company to play an 'active role in its growth', according to a statement. All 45 GCRM staff will be maintained in the deal.
GCRM was advised by Scottish law firm Harper Macleod and accountancy advisors PRK. PRK's press statement announcing the merger, said the expansion of the partnership would allow patients to 'benefit from the sharing of best practice and scientific resources by teams across the UK who are at the pinnacle of the assisted reproduction sector'.
Speaking with The Herald, Mitchell confirmed that staff training and development would take on 'a whole different structure'. He added that he hoped that the buyout would also lead to further investment in an enhanced clinical research capability.
'Research has always been a big part of what we do', he said. 'But with six clinics the data we can collect and generate and the clinical trials we can conduct should help push everything forward and accelerate future developments in infertility treatment'.
The UK fertility market is estimated to be worth around £550 million a year and 75 percent of the UK's annual 50,000 IVF procedures are performed privately. 'It is expected', PRK's statement concludes, 'that growth will increase in the fertility sector'.