A RYEDALE supplier of veterinary pharmaceuticals has been bought by a French company.

Alstoe Ltd Animal Health, which employs about 20 people in Sheriff Hutton, has been bought by Sogeval, a subsidiary of the animal division of Sofiproteol Group, a £6 million turnover agri-food company which employs 8,000 people in 14 countries.

Located in Laval, France, Sogeval develops and sells veterinary products for pets and livestock in 60 countries, and has two subsidiaries in Denmark and the USA.

It said it would continue to operate as usual from the York area for the foreseeable future and the acquisition of Alstoe, for an undisclosed sum, allowed Sogeval to continue its international growth strategy in the UK market.

José Daoudal, president of Sogeval, said: “The acquisition of Alstoe Animal Health is a major step in the international growth ambition of Sogeval and will allow Sogeval to continue its international growth strategy in the UK market, one of the most important in Europe.”

Alstoe was established in 1994 as an independent supplier of animal healthcare products for pets and livestock.

Its products include Vetergesic, for the control of post-operative pain in cats and dogs, which it acquired from Reckitt Benckiser last March, and Gleptosil, for the prevention of anaemia in piglets.

Law firm Clarion and accountants Garbutt and Elliot advised Alstoe in the deal.

Ian Ryder, director of Alstoe Animal Health, said: “The acquisition is the culmination of over four years of co-operation between the companies that has seen substantial growth of Sogeval products in the UK and Vetergesic in France.” Fellow director John Nellis said: “It’s business as usual, with the UK and Ireland operations continuing from Alstoe’s York base for the foreseeable future.”

Richard Feltham, of Garbutt & Elliott, said: “Alstoe Animal Health is a great example of a well-run niche Yorkshire business bucking the economic trend and proving very attractive to an overseas buyer. We are delighted to have assisted John and Ian in achieving a successful exit.”