KP360 looks to make big name in CME

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A private equity firm whose recent purchase of Thomson Medical Education gave it an entrée into healthcare says it has big plans for the company. New owner ABRY Partners may be on the acquisition trail again for other medical media entities, if they make sense for the business.

“We’re looking to become a market-leading health information company,” said Jon Bigelow, president and CEO of the med ed company, renamed KnowledgePoint360 Group (KP360). Bigelow came from Cliggott Publishing, where he was president and group VP/general manager of CMPMedica. He reports to the ABRY board of directors.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TME had revenues in the $100-million range and likely fetched between $135 million and $180 million, said a source familiar with the company. With 600 employees and a presence on two continents, TME was already formidable. The acquisition complements ABRY’s businesses in the media and communications fields.

“ABRY has been interested in investing in the healthcare media space for some time and this looked like a good opportunity,” said Bigelow.

KnowledgePoint360 Group retains the three main TME segments: medical communications, accredited medical education and speakers’ bureau logistical support. The operating companies will continue under their existing brand names.

The original management team remains, including Chris Stevenson and Viv Adshead, division heads of Physicians’ World and Gardiner-Caldwell, respectively. However, Dik Barsamian, TME division EVP, did not join KP360. A Thomson spokesman said Barsamian has left.

TME, formerly part of Thomson Healthcare, was put on the block last year (MM&M September 2006). The med ed units derived much of its revenue from pharma grants, a different revenue stream than Thomson’s subscription-based businesses.

Thomson put two other Healthcare units up for sale this year, plus Thomson Learning, in an effort to add capital for acquisitions, such as a proposed purchase of Reuters Group for $17.5 billion announced at press time.
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