Huntsworth acquires Dorland for $20M

PHILADELPHIA: Huntsworth PLC, the London-based communications company, has acquired Dorland Global Corporation in a deal that could be worth as much as $50 million.

PHILADELPHIA: Huntsworth PLC, the London-based communications company, has acquired Dorland Global Corporation in a deal that could be worth as much as $50 million.

The deal marks a major footprint in the US for Huntsworth Health, doubling the overall size of the division. In addition to offices in Philadelphia and San Francisco, Dorland is currently working to open a New York office, said Rita Sweeney, president and COO of Dorland Global Corporation.

The initial cost is $20 million paid in cash, with an interim payment to be settled in cash based on profits through the end of the year, and a final payment settled based on profits for the three years through 2010. The maximum total consideration would be $50 million.

"We set out about five years ago to build a first class global healthcare group, and one of our goals was to identify and acquire a North American business," said David Rowley, CEO of Huntsworth PLC. "In terms of the people, the chemistry and the vision it just worked very well and I've been pursuing these guys for some time."

Dorland clients in the healthcare field include GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Gilead Sciences, and Centocor. The agency, which has 150 employees, operates two business units, Dorland Global Health Communications and Dorland Global Public Relations.

The senior management team of Dorland will stay intact, said Sweeney, adding that the agency is excited by the vibrant public affairs business at Huntsworth.

"It provided a unique opportunity to be part of a group that could allow us to grow and realize our vision," said Nancy Bacher Long, president of Dorland Global Public Relations. "We felt strongly that the lack of global presence was hampering our ability to grow."

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