GCI Health is set to continue its international expansion in September by absorbing German agency Hering Schuppener Healthcare.
The deal would give GCI Health two additional offices in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, its first in continental Europe. GCI Health expanded into Asia via an office in Singapore this year. Five years ago, it opened a location in London, as well.
"There are a slew of German companies that focus on healthcare, and many of them are international, like Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim," said GCI Health CEO Wendy Lund. "That’s something that makes the German market extra attractive to us. There are significant healthcare companies in Germany and a lot of these companies are innovators on the pharma and tech side, so we will be tapping into that innovation coming out of Germany."
Hering Schuppener Healthcare, which is also owned by GCI parent WPP, will continue to be led by Horst Müther, co-owner and managing director, and Katharina Tolkmitt, managing partner. Both Müther and Tolkmitt will report to Lund. The firm will take on the GCI Health branding.
The transition would also add 30 employees to GCI Health’s team. Hering Schuppener Healthcare’s services include corporate and product communications, market access, public affairs, crisis communication, strategic consulting and medical education. The two agencies have shared clients and partnered on client work.
Lund noted that adding Hering Schuppener Healthcare would also give GCI Health, which is part of BCW's network, a roster of experts on the German regulatory environment.
About a decade ago, Hering Schuppener Healthcare was part of GCI Health, Lund said, adding that the deal is like "bringing it back home to where it belongs."
"We have been very deliberate about global expansion over the last few years," Lund said. "We have offices across the U.S. and are happy where we are there because they’re all health hotspots. At the end of the day, having an office of such breadth and depth of skilled people in continental Europe who specialize in healthcare is a wonderful opportunity for clients."