Lowe Group buys majority stake in Fusion

The Lowe Group re-entered the UK PR industry this week, after a ten-year absence, by acquiring a majority stake in healthcare specialist Fusion.

The Lowe Group re-entered the UK PR industry this week, after a

ten-year absence, by acquiring a majority stake in healthcare specialist

Fusion.



Fusion ranked ninth in PR Week’s healthcare league tables last year,

with a fee income of pounds 1.5 million. It will now be known as Lowe

Fusion Healthcare and will co-ordinate all the group’s European activity

in this sector.



Lowe’s is the 13th biggest advertising network in the world, with

billings of pounds 2.27 billion in 1997. The group has been absent from

PR in the UK since selling its stake in PR agency Lowe Bell to Sir Tim

Bell in 1989.



Fusion’s major clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering,

SmithKline Beecham and Zeneca.



Lowe Healthcare and Fusion already share Glaxo Wellcome as a client and

both sides are talking to others about consolidating their accounts.



’We were very interested in their pan-European work and the fact that

they do a lot of education as well as PR,’ said John Puglisi, chairman

of Lowe Healthcare.



Fusion chairman and founder Neil Kendle and managing director Julia Cook

will stay on with the existing management team.



Lowe Group moved into healthcare in 1996 with the acquisition of US

agency Williams Douglas McAdams. Last month it bought a second US

agency, Pace, and formally launched the division Lowe Healthcare. Lowe

has no plans at the moment to expand further into PR in the UK.



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