Guidemark Health swallowed up by Arsenal Capital

The Jersey-based agency will become part of the private equity firm’s value demonstration business.

Arsenal Capital Partners purchased Guidemark Health, the private equity firm said on Tuesday. It bought out the stake held by previous private equity partner Highroad Partners.

The purchase price is undisclosed, and there are no layoffs associated with the acquisition. Guidemark CEO Michael Parisi will report to Julia Ralston, global practice lead for Arsenal's medical strategy and communications practice.

The agency, which has offices in Parsippany and Princeton, New Jersey, will be combined with two of Arsenal's previously acquired firms, health economics consultancy BresMed Health Solutions and med affairs shop Cello Health. Together they will round out the PE firm's value demonstration platform. Guidemark retains its branding for now.

"In Q1 of next year, we will externally launch a new name and a new brand for the entirety of this new entity," said Jon Williams, CEO of Arsenal's value demonstration business.

Williams added that the business has hired more than 200 people in 2021 and that Arsenal, with more than $7 billion of committed assets, is lining up other acquisitions in similar areas. 

“We hope to do a couple more deals between now and the end of the year,” he said. “We’re in advanced stages of discussion with candidates across a range of areas.”

Guidemark’s revenue and head count fell during 2020, the former from $24.8 million in 2019 to $22.8 million and the latter from 62 full-timers to 54, according to MM+M’s 2021 Agency 100 report.

In the wake of the acquisition, Guidemark will be able to further scale its business, Parisi said. “This will allow us to expand our capabilities, client base and resources. It is exactly what we’re looking for.”

The deal continues a recent string of PE activity in medical communications. That includes the October sale of fellow Top 100 agency network Intouch Group to PE-backed network Eversana for at least $950 million, or 19x EBIDTA, and the divestment of Imre Health to RLF Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum. And last month, the Lockwood Group announced a strategic investment from the PE group of Ares Management for a reported $360 million, or 21x the agency’s reported EBIDTA.

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