UK firm to create new botanicals plant

UK natural healthcare company William Ransom could sell one of its
manufacturing sites to generate cash for a new botanical extraction
facility planned for next year, it said this week.

UK natural healthcare company William Ransom is considering selling one of its manufacturing sites to generate cash for growth of the consumer healthcare division and investment in a new botanical extraction facility, it said this week.

The company, which is aiming to become the leading 'natural healthcare company' in the UK, is planning to sell its 4.3 acre Hitchin town centre site for residential development. The move would lead to a loss of 74 jobs but with production transferred to its Witham site, Ransom could make operational savings and raise funds for the consumerhealthcare division, slated for growth with further acquisitions.

The proceeds would also go towards the creation of a new state-of-the-art botanical extraction facility in the Hitchin area, which will incorporate impending changes in regulatory standards, said William Ransom​.

The firm is currently a major supplier of plant extracts for food, drink and supplement makers in the UK. Sales in its extracts division for the first six months of the year have been impacted by termination of some business not earmarked for transfer to its Witham site, but would otherwise be ahead of last year, according to the firm.

The reorganisation would also impact financial results across the group for the years ending 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2005. Sales for the year so far, to 31 March 2003, have grown by 38 per cent to £14.725 million, making a profit before goodwill amortisation of £0.563 million.

Ransom has recently installed a new board and management to turn the company into a leading natural consumer healthcare business. The strategy involves buying up healthcare brands that no longer fit in expanding pharmaceutical firms.

Timothy Dye, chairman and chief executive of Ransom, said: "Aswell as realising cash for potential acquisitions, the business movewould allow us to reduce overheads significantly by concentration of our pharmaceutical manufacturing business on onesite."

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