Huntsworth buys health specialists Jago and VB

Huntsworth Group has acquired healthcare PR specialist Jago Pearce and its parent advertising agency VB Communications in a deal that could be worth as much as £6.3m.

Jago Pearce will become the group’s first specialist healthcare agency. Huntsworth finance director Roger Selman said further acquisitions in the sector were in the pipeline.

Selman said: ‘Healthcare is an important part of the Huntsworth strategy. Buying VB is a chance to increase our expertise in the UK.’

The deal involves an initial consideration of £3.3m, with a deferred consideration of around £3m, based on profits over the next three years.

Selman said the Jago Pearce and VB brands will remain and that the deal will not lead to any redundancies. Jago Pearce managing director Mike Dixon and other senior staff will remain in their posts.

Huntsworth chief executive Lord Chadlington added: ‘Building a broad healthcare base is one of the group’s stated strategies and this is bolstered by our belief that this sector has significant growth potential.’

Following the deal, board directors at the agency and VB report directly to Huntsworth healthcare chief executive David Rowley.

Jago Pearce and VB are based in Buckinghamshire and employ around 40 staff. Clients include Pfizer, for which it handles promotional activity around its ophthalmology and anti-infective arms.

They also carry out activity surrounding Abbott Laboratories’ HIV and cardiovascular treatments, as well as its diabetic testing meters.

VB Communications was formed in 1993, with Jago Pearce being created in 1999.

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