Chime snaps up Succinct Communications as part of expanding healthcare business

Chime Communications has bought medical comms group Succinct Communications.

Sean McGrath: chief executive at Succinct
Sean McGrath: chief executive at Succinct

Succinct, who handle medical communications for prescription medicines, has been bought as part of the development of Chime’s healthcare business Open Health.

Chime chairman Lord Bell said: ‘As a diversified communications group we see healthcare as an attractive sector in which we wish to compete strongly. The acquisition of Succinct strengthens our recently established healthcare practice Open Health still further.’

The move comes in the wake of revelations detailed by PRWeek that Chime chairman Lord Bell and Piers Pottinger are attempting to buy back parts of Chime's PR business.

Succinct will form the medical communications backbone within Chime, which will rebrand as Succinct. There will, however, be no changes to existing services and all client contracts will remain in place.

Sean McGrath, chief executive at Succinct, said: 'The opportunity to join forces with Open Health comes at a perfect time for Succinct. We are ambitious, growing quickly and feel we now need to work with others to fulfil our huge potential.

'A number of companies approached us, but we were impressed with the leadership team at Open Health, as well as sharing their views on how to meet changing client demands to succeed now and in the future.'

The initial buyout comprises £2m in cash and the issue of 264,338 new ordinary shares – at 25 pence each – in Chime, as well as £0.6m in cash. The business is being bought from Succinct’s two owner directors, McGrath and Lisa Dodgshon, who will continue to develop Succinct as part of Chime’s healthcare division.

David Rowley, chief executive of Open Health, added: 'High science and evidence-based communications is the growth sector in healthcare communications, and Open Health intends to build a significant practice in this area.

‘Sean and Lisa have built a fabulous business in Succinct Communications, and I have no doubt that in partnership with Open Health, the company will continue its impressive growth curve.’

Succinct reported revenue of £2.6m for the year ending 31 December 2010 and operating profit of £669,000, while its  gross assets were £2,751,000 as at 31 December 2010.

The new ordinary shares will be listed on the Official List of the Financial Services Authority and admitted to trading by the London Stock Exchange on its main market for listed securities, with dealings in these shares set to start on Monday.


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