Porter Novelli purchases FischerHealth to broaden medical services

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli, in hopes of expanding its base of healthcare clients, particularly in the medical device and diagnostics space, has purchased Los Angeles-based FischerHealth.

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli, in hopes of expanding its base of healthcare clients, particularly in the medical device and diagnostics space, has purchased Los Angeles-based FischerHealth.

PN CEO Helen Ostrowski would not disclose the terms of the deal, though she did say FischerHealth posted $4.7 million in revenues in 2002. Ostrowski also said the company, which will retain its name, was attractive because of the way it complemented PN's existing business.

"There is an increasing intersection between the medical devices and diagnostics area and medical science in disease treatment," she said.

FischerHealth, which concentrates on four main areas - medical devices and diagnostics, health services, health IT, and health sciences - cited a desire for greater global capabilities as the primary reason for accepting a buyout at this time.

CEO Roger Fischer said larger agencies interested in acquiring FischerHealth have been approaching him since 1998, but that "it was always too premature." It wasn't until 2002, explained Fischer, when "we started getting opportunities from bigger companies, and they had bigger global needs" that he started seriously considering a buyout.

In several cases prior to the acquisition, FischerHealth was being appointed to lead strategy on accounts, but clients were retaining a global firm to service the needs that FischerHealth was not equipped to handle. For example, just last month, McKesson Corp., a healthcare services and IT company, selected the agency to handle strategy, but kept Fleishman-Hillard on retainer.

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