Huntsworth buys 800-strong global medical comms group

Huntsworth has acquired Nucleus Global, one of the world’s biggest medical specialist comms groups, for an undisclosed sum.

Huntsworth CEO Paul Taaffe: acquisition creates 'one of the most powerful combinations in healthcare communications'
Huntsworth CEO Paul Taaffe: acquisition creates 'one of the most powerful combinations in healthcare communications'

Following its acquisition by Huntsworth, Nucleus Global will continue to be led by founder and chair Stephen Cameron, who will join the main Huntsworth board.

Founded in 1986 and with headquarters in London, Nucleus Global has a workforce of more than 800 people in 14 offices in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific region. The agency provides strategic comms, publications planning, experts and patients engagement, scientific events management, medical education, internal comms, training and clinical support for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The acquisition is Huntsworth's second since it was bought by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in May. In June Huntsworth bought Cormis, the comms and training consultancy for the pharmaceutical industry.

Huntsworth chief executive Paul Taaffe said: “The addition of Nucleus Global to Huntsworth creates one of the largest high science teams in the world to meet the increasingly complex needs of next-generation prescription drug development. Together, Nucleus Global and Huntsworth are one of the most powerful combinations in healthcare communications.”

Cameron said: "We are excited to combine our expertise with the breadth of solutions across Huntsworth to deliver even more value to our clients, and our teams, which will help them capitalise on their opportunities to provide patients with the most effective healthcare solutions."

Huntsworth said there will be no redundancies associated with the deal.

In recent years, building its healthcare comms business has been a key focus for Huntsworth – the owner of PR agencies Grayling, Citigate and Red. In May 2019, Huntsworth announced the purchase of two healthcare research and comms businesses: Luxembourg-based CC and global health comms specialist Kyne.

The previous year it took a majority stake in US independent healthcare marketing agency Giant Creative Strategy. And in 2017, Huntsworth acquired WRG owner The Creative Engagement Group, which includes three agencies predominantly focused on healthcare clients: WRG, The Moment and Just Communicate.

Huntsworth's other healthcare businesses include MediStrava and the Evoke Group.

The Nucleus Global sale is among a number of mergers and acquisitions in the PR industry announced recently. This week alone news has broken of Archetype's acquisition of tech PR specialist Marlin PR; Four Communications' merger with boutique property PR firm Two Blue; and Definition's acquisition of internal comms and employee experience agency Words&Pictures.

Last month, Unity announced it had sold a majority stake to marketing services group Selbey Anderson.

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