NEW YORK: ICR has acquired Continuum Health Communications amid a broader effort to grow its business following an investment from Investcorp.

The boutique healthcare PR shop will be known as Continuum Health – an ICR Company. Its founder and CEO, Terri Clevenger, is joining ICR as a managing director.

“We have not disclosed any financial terms, but this is more accurately characterized as an ‘acqui-hire,’” an ICR spokesperson said. “We have operated in healthcare for more than a decade but have been applying increased focus to the sector over the past five years.”

Continuum was founded in 2006. Its clients include large pharmaceutical companies, startup life sciences, and med-tech and services companies, an ICR spokesperson said via email.

While the deal will bolster ICR’s healthcare capabilities, Continuum clients will have access to IR, IPO planning, digital branding, social media, and crisis services, an ICR spokesperson said. Partner John Mills is overseeing healthcare at the firm.

Healthcare, particularly biotechnology, has been driving a surge in IPOs. For five years running, healthcare has seen more IPOs than any other industry. “We absolutely see great growth potential in this sector and investing to grow and expand our team is part of a concerted strategy,” an ICR spokesperson said.

The acquisition follows a deal in which ICR sold an undisclosed stake to Bahrain-headquartered investment bank Investcorp. When the deal was announced in March, the firm said it wanted to accelerate organic growth while identifying complementary acquisitions. ICR has added hires in technology IR and PR, social and digital, crisis and transaction, and its capital advisory business since then, a spokesperson said.

In June, ICR appointed Wall Street vet Frank Maturo as chairman of ICR Capital. Maturo has served as co-head of the equity capital markets group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and vice chairman at that bank and at UBS.

ICR launched an executive advisory and corporate transformation practice this summer through an exclusive partnership with Elm Street Advisors. The practice is led by James Scully, head of Elm Street Advisors. Scully founded Elm Street in 2018 to partner with ICR, according to a statement from the firm.

In 2017, ICR saw a revenue increase of 14% year-over-year to $63.4 million. The firm has offices in New York, San Francisco, Beijing, and Norwalk, Connecticut, and more than 500 clients. Investcorp has $22.6 billion in assets under management as of the end of fiscal year 2018.

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