Peter FitzGerald and family
FitzGerald's Randox Health can expect an injection of publicity next month as the new sponsor of the Grand National at Aintree. The Northern Ireland-based healthcare company has signed a five-year deal to back the race and has signed 20-times champion jump jockey Sir Tony McCoy (qv) — to be immortalised by a life-size bronze statue at Cheltenham racecourse next month — as its brand ambassador. McCoy's wife Chanelle steps into the limelight this year, replacing Eamonn Quinn (qv) on RTE's Dragons' Den. It is a big jump from Randox's 1980s beginnings in a chicken shed at the back of FitzGerald's parents' farm in Crumlin, Co Antrim. At the time FitzGerald was a junior biochemistry fellow at Queen's University Belfast. The 66-year-old, who lives with his wife Nuailin and family in Crumlin, has since grown Randox into a big business with research and development sites in Crumlin, Dungloe in Co Donegal, Bangalore and Washington. It is a world leader in manufacturing and marketing diagnostic equipment to detect clinical conditions and test for the long-term threat of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The company is also expanding through its wellness clinics, which allow people to drop in for healthcare checks. It already has sites from Holywood in Co Down to Beverly Hills in California as well as London and Dubai, with plans for openings in Edinburgh and Manchester. It has also developed the Randox science park at the former Massereene army barracks in Antrim, and Dundarave Estate in Bushmills for corporate hospitality, including grounds for polo, FitzGerald's favourite hobby. In 2015, Randox's profits were €21.1m on almost €112.9m sales. With €73m assets, the business is valued at €294m. Other assets add €5.8m.