Resonant Group buys OPEN Health PR and eyes further sector acquisitions

Resonant Group has acquired OPEN Health’s PR business for an undisclosed sum and renamed it Anthem PR, it announced this morning.

(L-R) David Youds, CEO, Resonant Group, and Barney Mayles, director, Anthem
(L-R) David Youds, CEO, Resonant Group, and Barney Mayles, director, Anthem

The healthcare-focused company told PRWeek the strategic acquisition of Anthem was an expression of its future ambitions and that it was keen to expand over the next three years.

Growth plan

Stephen Marchant, chief development officer at Resonant, told PRWeek: “We have a purpose of enabling effective engagement in health, and we will be looking to grow or acquire businesses that fit with this purpose, meet with our values, and deliver on client needs.”

Along with Anthem, Resonant Group is comprised of medical education firm Bedrock Healthcare Communications and Origins Insights, which produces patient-focused intelligence. It is not backed by private equity firms.

The group is led by its chief executive, David Youds, non-executive director Anna Korving and Marchant.

Youds said: “As part of our client-focused strategic growth plan, we had planned to build or acquire a specialist health PR offer alongside our existing offerings… so this opportunity was very timely.”

No staff changes

There will be no changes to Anthem’s leadership, currently led by its director, Barney Mayles.

Anthem has 15 staff, including Mayles, who have all transferred to the new entity while Resonant begins a recruitment drive to fill vacancies in anticipation of a busy fourth quarter.

Marchant said: “We will be looking to bolster the senior team in the next few weeks and months while we redefine the structure.”

Commenting on the move, Mayles said he was excited by Anthem’s future with Resonant.

He added: “The chance to grow our already successful offering with the guidance and support of David and the Resonant leadership team is a fantastic opportunity.”

OPEN Health

OPEN Health’s remaining functions, including in medical education, advertising and market access, are not affected by the sale.

Last month, OPEN Health acquired Spirit, a medical comms agency, with offices in Manchester and Cheshire.

Later the same month OPEN Health managing director Vicky Bramham left to return to Edelman, where she has taken up a senior role overseeing client services in the health team.

And last December, Rob Barker was appointed chief executive of OPEN Health and replaced David Rowley, who stepped down after a decade at the helm.

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