CD&R swoops for health servies company in £575m

New York private equity company, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), has acquired Huntsworth, a London-based provider of specialty services that help pharmaceutical and biotech companies commercialise new therapies and support the life cycle of drug innovation, for £575 million.

Over the last 10 years, Huntsworth has transformed from a traditional communications agency to a diversified Pharma Commercialization Services platform (~85% of the Operating Profit of the group is from its Health division), offering end-to-end solutions to Pharma and Biotech customers.

CD&R believes that Huntsworth’s underlying markets are attractive and underpinned by long term, stable pharma-related trends, such as demographics, increasing outsourcing, growing new product launches, shift to more specialized drugs (where targeted, thoughtful engagement is key), and increasing complexity and emergence of new marketing channels.

“We believe Huntsworth is a dynamic and competitively well-positioned company dedicated to meeting the needs of customers with cutting edge services to ensure their long-term success,” said Eric Rouzier, CD&R Partner.

The investment leverages CD&R’s operating experience in healthcare, as well as specific expertise with similar channels and hybrid healthcare business models.

CD&R will further integrate expertise in the industry with Liam FitzGerald, Operating Advisor to CD&R funds , taking on the role of Chairman. Mr FitzGerald is the former CEO of UDG Healthcare, the parent of Ashfield Healthcare, a similar platform to Huntsworth.

“Huntsworth presented an exciting opportunity for CD&R to invest in a company that we believe is strongly weighted towards a higher growth, defensive sector, underpinned by long-term, stable trends,” said Liam FitzGerald.

“The management team has a demonstrated record of success; our vision aligns with theirs; and we look forward to supporting the company as it seeks to accelerate toward the next stage of profitable organic and acquisition-led growth.”

“We believe the acquisition of Huntsworth by CD&R is a great outcome for the company, our clients and shareholders,” said Paul Taaffe, CEO of Huntsworth.

“As a private company and with CD&R’s backing, we expect Huntsworth will be able to further invest in meeting the needs of global healthcare clients. We are excited for this next phase of the group’s journey.”

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