Halifax-based STI Technologies, a company that developed a card-based program connecting physicians, patients, pharmacy and pharma, has announced an arrangement that will result in Toronto-based private equity firm, Imperial Capital Group, investing over $17 million dollars in the company.
The massive infusion of cash comes during a time of substantial growth and will “accelerate its expansion”.
“We’re thrilled to have found a partner in Imperial Capital, they have a solid track record and are aligned with us on our vision. Their investment represents a win for shareholders, the company and its employees, our customers, as well as the millions of beneficiaries of our programs,” said CEO Steve Nicolle. “Over the next few years, we plan on further expanding our services and reach into new areas of healthcare.”
The transaction, which represents one of the largest investments recently made in the region, is still subject to court approval. but received overwhelming shareholder approval after a special shareholders meeting that took place onMonday, September 23 in Halifax. Many of the company’s early investors, including GrowthWorks Atlantic Fund, are selling their shares and receiving an attractive return on their original investment.
“An investment of this caliber doesn’t happen every day,” said Milan Vrekic of Volta Labs, a startup space in Halifax. “STI is a home-grown success story and a testament to the spirit of innovation and perseverance in Atlantic Canada.”
STI was founded in 2001 by three pharmaceutical marketers, the result of a scribbled napkin at a dinner table. Their technology works like this: a healthcare professional, a pharmacist, or even the manufacturer distributes a uniquely and securely coded smart card to a patient. The patient gives the easily recognizable card to the pharmacist along with their prescription. Once the pharmacist enters the card into the pharmacy system, reimbursement rules are applied and patients are provided a pre-determined benefit. Payment is immediate and accurate. STI calls their system “revolutionary”, and that it changed the way pharmaceutical companies sample their medications by involving pharmacy.
Imperial Capital’s Justin MacCormack said the firm is “very excited” about it partnership with STI. “STI is a profitable and highly scalable technology company playing an important role in the Canadian healthcare industry,” he said. “As their partner, we look forward to assisting management in the execution of the company’s strategic vision.”
STI is the largest intelligent reimbursement card provider to the Canadian healthcare industry, implementing innovative programs on behalf of major pharmaceutical and patient assistance companies. The company’s newest program, innoviCares, provides members with the choice to stay on brand name medication at the generic price and offers savings on many other healthcare products.