5 questions for Andy Polansky on the ReviveHealth deal

Why buy ReviveHealth? And why now? The Weber Shandwick CEO chats with PRWeek.

Weber Shandwick took the wraps off its latest acquisition on Tuesday: Nashville, Tennessee-based healthcare specialist agency ReviveHealth.

While ReviveHealth’s Nashville and Santa Barbara, California, offices will remain open – Weber does not have a brick-and-mortar location in either city – the agency’s staff in Minneapolis will move into Weber’s office there. ReviveHealth CEO Brandon Edwards will remain in his role as the firm keeps its brand and operates as a Weber subsidiary.

Weber CEO Andy Polansky chatted with PRWeek about why his firm bought ReviveHealth, and what’s up with the sudden spate of agency acquisitions at the start of the year.

Of all the healthcare firms out there, what made ReviveHealth the right fit for Weber? 
Healthcare is one of Weber Shandwick’s fastest-growing practice areas. So we are keenly interested in continuing to deepen our expertise. Like much of what we do at Weber, much of that is going to come through organic growth with existing clients. But we are always looking for partners that can add some new dimensions to our business. ReviveHealth has highly complementary experience, particularly in the b-to-b sphere. And importantly, we felt their culture was very much aligned with Weber’s collaborative approach to business.

Why keep ReviveHealth as a standalone agency? Why not just merge it in entirely?
We believe there is a lot of equity in the ReviveHealth name. It has highly specialized expertise. Whenever we acquire companies, there are a lot of considerations that come into play when we think about the brand. Typically, in the initial phase, we do not rebrand the companies we acquire.

This week, Stagwell Group acquired digital creative firm Code and Theory and BBDO Worldwide bought Wednesday Agency Group. Do you see any reason behind this sudden acquisition spree?
I do not think there is a particular underlying reason as to why you are seeing some acquisition activity. Weber, as I am sure is true of many of our competitors, is always looking to be opportunistic and looking for interesting ways to continue to build scale, depth of expertise, and creative firepower.

Do you see room for more deals in the US this year?
Our strategy is more about developing deeper expertise versus geography. From a global network perspective, we are in major media and financial capitals around the world with a very strong presence. [In the case of ReviveHealth], Nashville is an intriguing market for us because it is the largest health services market in the US. But it is more about the fact that we found a great firm with great people that is very much aligned with the vision we have for the business and the growth possibilities that we see.

What is your deal strategy internationally?
We always have our eyes open for great companies and great people.

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