PHILADELPHIA—Huntsworth, the U.K.-based holding company helmed by Shandwick founder Lord Chadlington, has acquired Dorland Global, the healthcare specialty agency headquartered in Philadelphia. The acquisition fulfilled two of Huntsworth’s needs, adding critical mass in the U.S. marketplace and adding to its Huntsworth Health operation, focused on one of the fastest-growing sectors in the public relations business.,
Huntsworth now has 60 principal offices in 30 countries around the world operating under brands including Trimedia, Citigate, Global Consulting Group, and Grayling. Its Huntsworth Health division provides integrated communications, including market research, internet services, public and professional relations.
The deal could be worth up to £25.6million ($51.2 million). Huntsworth will initially pay £10.6 million in cash, but the final amount could increase depending on Dorland’s performance between now and the end of 2010. Dorland reported a pre-tax profit of £1.8 million in 2006.
“The acquisition is synergistic on many fronts, with Dorland Global’s highly regarded healthcare public relations, marketing and education units matching up with Huntsworth Health’s integrated communications offerings,” says David Rowley, CEO of Huntsworth Health. “Through our aligned service offerings and global bandwidth, we are now poised to become a leading force in global healthcare communications.”
Chadlington adds that healthcare is “an area of tremendous growth potential” and that the deal will “allow us to compete in the global pharmaceutical sector across a breadth of communications activities.”
Dorland Global will continue to operate under its existing management and staff, including Nancy Bacher Long, president of Dorland PR, without interruption. In addition to its Philadelphia headquarters, Dorland has a San Francisco office that handles mostly biotech, medical tech and devices and has plans for a New York office.
With fee income slightly above $11 million—a fourfold increase since 2001—Dorland’s PR operation now ranks among the top healthcare PR specialists in the U.S. and works with clients including Cephalon (for Provigil and a broader “alertness matters” campaign), Johnson & Johnson (Centocor and McNeil brands) and Procter & Gamble (Actonel and, new in 2006, Pur water purification brands).
“Dorland Global is excited to have found a strong business partner that shares our entrepreneurial vision, and understands and supports our plans for the future,” says Rita Sweeney, president and chief operating officer of Dorland Global. “We look forward to extending and enhancing the myriad services we offer our valued clients, whose satisfaction remains our top priority.”