UDG Healthcare acquires MicroMass, for up to $75.8 million

Share this content:

MicroMass president Alyson Connor reports to Jez Moulding, chief operating officer at UDG Healthcare and EVP of Ashfield's commercial and medical services.

UDG Healthcare announced that it has completed the acquisition of MicroMass Communications, a healthcare communications agency specializing in behavioral science, in a deal worth up to $75.8 million.

UDG will pay MicroMass an initial consideration of $63.8 million, and up to an additional $12 million over the next three years, based on profit goals.

See also: Expect healthcare agencies to make more digital acquisitions: report

The acquisition is UDG's third — and the largest — acquisition of a U.S.-based healthcare agency in recent months. In July it acquired healthcare management consulting firm Vynamic for $32 million and rare-disease marketing  agency Cambridge BioMarketing for $35 million. Everyday Health previously owned Cambridge BioMarketing.

The deals are part of the company's aim to expand in the U.S. through its Ashfield division, which focuses on commercial and clinical services and communications, and has committed about $275 million to acquisitions for this year, according to Brendan McAtamney, CEO of UDG Healthcare.

“MicroMass provides the group with the ability to strengthen Ashfield's presence and capabilities in the U.S. market, whilst also providing us with a platform to expand into the high growth areas of behavioral change and direct patient engagement,” McAtamney said in a news release.

See also: WebMD sells to private equity firm KKR

MicroMass president Alyson Connor said the agency had been looking for “a home” and had narrowed it down to about 10 companies. Periscope Equity was MicroMass' main investor. It invested in the agency in 2015.

“It made it easier to say ‘yes' when they said, ‘You're going to function as an autonomous agency. We're going to help you grow it outside and within the U.S,'” said Connor. “They know this business, they're a large company, they're diverse in healthcare, and there are opportunities to collaborate and cross-sell. We can create more and better solutions for our clients in pharma, because we can share resources and ideas.”

Connor now reports to Jez Moulding, chief operating officer at UDG Healthcare and EVP of Ashfield's commercial and medical services. No other staffing changes are expected to take place, and its office location remains in Cary, North Carolina.

See also: 4 Ways for Agencies to Sell Clients on Behavioral Marketing Programs

Connor said she hopes to combine MicroMass' expertise in behavioral science with Ashfield's clinical and psychosocial know-how, to come up with behavioral techniques for nurses that improve patient outcomes. In addition, she said the acquisition allows MicroMass to better service clients that are working with other Ashfield agencies in the U.K.

MicroMass reported a 9% increase in revenue to $26.2 million in 2016, with 13 new account wins. It has hired 34 people this year to date, with a total of 110 employees in the U.S.

“We've reached that point where we have to invest in infrastructure [and] internal training, so we have growth development for our staff,” said Connor. “It's great for us to tap into the resources UDG has to grow staff.”

Share this content:
Scroll down to see the next article