In its second acquisition of the new year, Fishawack Health has snapped up the highly regarded Minneapolis-based creative shop StoneArch. The deal arrives a week after the announcement of another purchase, this one of London’s Hive Health.
The acquisitions are in line with the U.K.-based organization’s continued push to challenge larger legacy players and more traditional holding companies, like Publicis and Omnicom. Yet after two decades of acquisitions and steady growth, Fishawack now rivals some of those organizations in terms of size.
The company now counts 17 offices in 13 cities in the U.S. and U.K., with more than 950 employees operating across its three principal units: medical communications, consulting and commercial. Combined revenue, including the company’s newest additions, is more than $150 million.
When discussing the recent additions, Fishawack chief commercial officer Ross Toohey referenced the company’s logo — a wolf’s head — and said it is creating a pack of partners with similar cultures and legacies of strong leadership.
“We’re building a wolfpack: A number of individual entities existing in a framework and able to support each other when needed,” Toohey explained. “It’s an experiment that is working and that has been wildly successful over the last five years. It is one that has helped us thrive through COVID while others are really still struggling.”
On January 6, Fishawack announced that Hive Health, purchased from Kin + Carta for £14 million, would join the organization. The deal developed quickly and, amid the pandemic, came together from afar.
Toohey said Hive’s expertise, especially in creative consulting and medical communications, reinforces Fishawack’s existing strengths. “It is a familiar capability set in a familiar geography, with some really sharp talent that we can bring into the fold when we need people all over the world,” he added.
The Stonearch acquisition, on the other hand, developed over a much longer period. “StoneArch and Fishawack have explored different paths of coming together for a long time,” Toohey said. “This union is over a decade in the making.”
He rattled off a list of reasons why the acquisition of StoneArch makes such good business and cultural sense for Fishawack. “First, StoneArch has a long history in medtech and med devices, which helps bolster that area for Fishawack. And second, I know there are future leaders in that company,” he said.
Toohey also pointed to Stonearch’s geographic stronghold in Minnesota. “Minneapolis is a big part of why we were interested in StoneArch,” he continued. “It is a wildly underappreciated talent market. We will keep the office there and I expect it to grow.”
Terms of the StoneArch acquisition were not disclosed.
Look for Fishawack to continue to pursue acquisitions of small and mid-sized agencies in the months ahead.“We are growing, we are stable and successful, and we are well-funded,” Toohey said. “We are in a blessed position to move swiftly to pursue opportunities when the right ones present themselves. When we find a business that fits those criteria of culture, energy, optimism and collaboration, we will pursue them as much as we can and welcome them in with open arms.”