Finn Partners acquires healthcare shop Lazar Partners

The healthcare practice of Finn Partners will grow to 150 staffers via the deal.

NEW YORK: Finn Partners has acquired New York-based healthcare PR firm Lazar Partners.

The acquisition will bring Lazar’s 22 staffers and $5 million in annual revenue to the Finn Partners healthcare practice, growing it to 150 people and more than $30 million in annual revenue. 

Finn Partners executives would not disclose the purchase price or other financial details, though founding partner Peter Finn said his agency’s deals "are structured to support collaboration." The acquisition will create no client conflicts, according to Finn Partners.

Lazar founder and CEO Fern Lazar is joining Finn Partners as managing partner, reporting to Gil Bashe, managing partner of global health. Lazar’s former employees will continue to report to her.  

Finn said that the Lazar brand will eventually be abandoned and its staff will become Finn Partners employees. 

Lazar’s New York team will move into Finn Partners’ New York office by December, and a similar transition will happen in other cities where both firms have offices.  

"Certainly there will be no changes on the client service staff side," Finn said, describing how the deal will affect staffing. "On the administrative side, Fern [Lazar] has a great team and we’re looking forward to finding roles for them within Finn Partners."

Lazar said that she and Bashe have known each other professionally for many years and the two firms have collaborated on projects. Serious discussions about a deal began six to nine months ago.  

Lazar said that she spoke to many firms about a potential deal before settling on Finn Partners.

"I was looking for an opportunity to combine with like-minded people who could really deliver the things I couldn’t deliver in-house," she said. "Finn Partners is recognized for its digital, its creative and its global reach, and these are things we just can’t do on our own."

Bashe said that Lazar has a range of senior talent that is well-known in the industry.

"Fern is a pioneer in healthcare investment relations and communications in life-science fields and has attracted amazing people in editorial for the life sciences and in comms and media relations," he said. "She has very solid people in health IR. The community she built was a great place for young people to hone their careers, and that was incredibly attractive to us."

Bashe added that Lazar’s base of entrepreneurial clients in Europe and Israel, which he described as "very strong markets for us," was also a factor, as was its expertise in Southeast Asia, which he called "a strong developing market for Finn Partners."

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions for Finn Partners. In January, it bought Hong Kong-based CatchOn and acquired London-headquartered financial services comms specialist Moorgate Communications a month later.

Last year, it acquired Missy Farren Associates, based in New York, and London-based Brighter Group.

Finn Partners' revenue grew 8% to $88 million last year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report, and Finn said the firm is on track to earn more than $100 million in revenue this year. 

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