Weber Shandwick buys healthcare specialist ReviveHealth

Brandon Edwards, CEO of ReviveHealth (left), Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky (right)

Weber Shandwick has acquired Nashville, Tennessee-based healthcare specialist agency ReviveHealth for an undisclosed sum, the Interpublic Group firm said Thursday morning.

Weber CEO Andy Polansky said the deal made sense for reasons including current industry trends. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"When you look at consolidation going on in the healthcare arena, you're dealing with a lot of complex issues," he said, meaning agencies have to offer a range of services to assist clients. He noted that the deal also gives Weber the chance to expand in new cities in areas other than healthcare.

While ReviveHealth's Nashville and Santa Barbara, Calif., offices will remain open—Weber does not have a brick-and-mortar location in either city—the agency's staff in Minneapolis will move into Weber's office there, said Brandon Edwards, CEO of ReviveHealth.

Edwards will remain in his current role as ReviveHealth keeps its brand and operates as a Weber subsidiary.

He added that as clients contact ReviveHealth for work as an AOR or standalone agency partner, it became more important for the agency to boost its services in additional cities.

"We really see digital strategy, branding work, and more broadly, consumer engagement work as critical growth pathways," Edwards explained.

Revive and Weber took a test drive of the partnership earlier this year when they teamed up to pitch Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, said Edwards. The firms won Arcadia's business in November.

Initial exchanges between the two firms began last March after an introduction by Roger Fischer of M&A advisory firm RF Consulting, who was also ReviveHealth's transaction adviser, Edwards said.

Weber, which is a part of Interpublic's Constituency Management Group, achieved global revenue of more than $600 million and US revenue of more than $400 million in 2014, with an estimated headcount of about 4,000 globally and 2,500 in the US. It also won PR Agency of the Year and Large PR Agency of the Year at the latest edition of the PRWeek Awards.

The agency bought Swedish creative PR firm Prime in the largest deal in its history in May 2014.

ReviveHealth said its revenue for 2014 was up 62% to $8.7 million, partly due to its acquisition of Interval in November 2014. It won Pamplona Capital Partners IV LP's strategic marketing communications AOR account last month.

This story originally appeared in PRWeek.