German powerhouse engineers growth ‘Springboard’ in Cambridge

10 Jan, 2024
Tony Quested
German company Sanner GmbH is fashioning a UK centre of excellence for medical discovery at St John’s Innovation Park in Cambridge after buying tenant company Springboard Pro Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Springboard celebrated its 10th anniversary year in 2023.
Springboard co-founders Tom Oakley and Keith Turner

Prism Corporate Broking facilitated the sale of the medtech device design and development consultancy to Sanner – a healthcare packaging and medical device manufacturer backed by Europe’s leading healthcare specialist private equity investor, GHO Capital.

Hans-Willem van Vliet, CEO of Sanner Group, commented: “Sanner Group has transformed from a market leader in desiccant closures and effervescent tablet packaging, to a sought-after provider of customer-specific solutions in the fields of medical technology, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare. 

“The acquisition of Springboard further strengthens this offering, giving our customers deep expertise and support across the entire medical device development process, from initial concept design to commercial manufacturing.

“Springboard’s strong reputation for delivering exceptional concept through to manufacture design services, along with its ability to solve complex technical and scientific problems for its customers combined with an excellent culture, make this a highly complementary acquisition. We very much look forward to welcoming the Springboard team to the Sanner Group and delivering excellence at all stages of the product lifecycle.”

Tom Oakley, co-founder and Director of Springboard, says: “We joined one of Prism’s webinars and were very impressed with their knowledge and professionalism. While considering what route to take the business we were contacted by a number of interested buyers. 

“Prism helped us with negotiations and reaching a successful completion. We are excited to join Sanner Group.

“Our clients, from the largest multinational companies to the fastest growing startups, will not only be able to access design innovation based on first class scientific and engineering capabilities, but also benefit from integrated design for manufacturing. We can support every project from small-scale production for verification and clinical trials to full-scale serial production within the Sanner Group’s global manufacturing facilities.”

Keith Turner, Director of Springboard, added, “Our combination with Sanner Group brings world-class intelligent healthcare solutions to our clients, and is a major step in our growth journey. Sanner and Springboard have a shared commitment to improve people’s lives around the world and we are excited to be pursuing this objective together.”

Peter Watson, Managing Director of Prism, said: “Springboard’s co-founders Tom Oakley and Keith Turner have developed an outstanding business, with at its heart a highly skilled team backed by a strong ethos. 

“The strategic and cultural fit with Sanner is excellent. We are delighted to have helped them through the sale and know that the business will thrive as part of the Sanner Group.”

Springboard was also advised by Rob Southgate at Integrity Tax and Inger Anson at HCR Legal LLP (Cambridge).

Springboard specialises in developing devices from initial concept through to manufacture, for regulated markets such as medical, drug delivery and biotech. 

Its team of engineers and scientists provide extensive capabilities including engineering, physics, electronics, software, design and materials science. They are driven by a passion for solving difficult technical challenges and developing successful products that help people around the world. 

Sanner Group is a leading global developer and manufacturer of healthcare devices and packaging for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. It is headquartered in Germany, with manufacturing facilities across that country as well as France, Hungary and China.

It supplies products to more than 150 countries globally and has more than 600 employees. The acquisition of Springboard will substantially boost Sanner Group’s in-house medical device development capabilities.

Sanner Group was advised by Alvarez & Marsal as financial advisors and Deloitte as tax structuring advisors with Norton Rose Fulbright acting as legal advisor.