Iconic Edinburgh herbalist founded in 1860 eyes global future following takeover

Napiers the Herbalists, one of Edinburgh’s most iconic and longest established businesses, has been acquired by a new owner that has global ambitions for the brand.

Founded in 1860, by the renowned herbalist Duncan Napier, Napiers still operates from its original apothecary store on the capital’s Bristo Place and through its website, Napiers.net.

For more than 160 years, the firm has served the people of Edinburgh and beyond with its unique blend of herbal remedies, food supplements, skincare and wellness products. More recently, it has increased its appeal to consumers in Asian markets through its partnership with a large Korean skincare brand and its work with Samarkand Group as its distributor.

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Under the takeover deal, Samarkand has acquired the business and intends to expand Napiers’ products and services in the UK and internationally in China “and beyond”. Samarkand has had a commercial relationship with Napiers for more than three years.

Napiers the Herbalists was founded by Duncan Napier in Edinburgh in 1860. Apart from a brief period, Napiers has traded continuously from its store in Bristo Place, Edinburgh.

The new owner, which is paying an initial £1.7 million to acquire Napiers, plus possible future payments, noted: “The directors of Samarkand believe that Napiers is an attractive acquisition for the group and will make use of Samarkand's technology, supply chains and benefit from synergies between the previous wellness acquisitions of Probio7, Zita West Products and Baba West.”

Monica Wilde, managing director of Napiers, said: “I am delighted that Napiers has found a new home in a group which can see the considerable prospects of this special brand. We are looking forward to working with the Samarkand team on the next chapter in Napiers history.”

Apart from a brief period, Napiers has traded continuously from its store in Bristo Place.

David Hampstead, chief executive of stock market-listed Samarkand Group, said: “We've worked with Napiers and their team for a number of years and have always been impressed by the consumer response to the company's story and values.

“Napiers is a one of a kind truly authentic brand with significant potential. The acquisition signifies a clear execution of the group's strategy laid out at the time of listing.

“As we take on the responsibility of looking after Napiers for the next 160 years we are looking forward to bringing it to many more consumers in the UK and internationally.”

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