Consumer interactive agency Digitas has entered an agreement to buy
healthcare interactive agency Medical Broadcasting Company (MBC).
Terms of the deal will include an initial payment of $30.4 million,
composed of $22.4 million in cash and $8 million in Digitas stock
to be made at closing, sometime during the first quarter of 2006,
according to a jointly issued news release.
MBC is expected to retain its brand identity and will continue to be led by
cofounders David Kramer and Linda Holliday.
Kramer and Holliday said in a joint statement: “We’ve enjoyed
long-term relationships with a blue-chip roster of healthcare and
pharmaceutical companies. Now, thanks to a doubling in consumers’
use of the Internet as a medical information source and its ranking
only behind care providers as the most credible source, on-line
marketing is ascending to become a new leading media channel for
healthcare. Many of our clients are preparing to advance their
businesses’ online strategy to address this and we see tremendous
benefit in being affiliated with the robust digital marketing
capabilities found in the Digitas family of agencies.”
David Kenny, CEO of Digitas, said in a statement, “MBC’s wealth of
industry expertise in both professional and patient communications
is a complement to our strategy of targeting the healthcare and
MBC expects to earn fee revenues of $23 million to $25 million for
2005 and has 140 employees at its office in Philadelphia. Its
client roster includes Abbott Laboratories, Allergan, AstraZeneca,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson &
Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough
and Wyeth, among others.
Digitas said it expects to discuss further the acquisition
following the transaction’s close.