Cordiant buys healthcare specialist in US for pounds 113m

Cordiant, the Bates network parent, is poised for more acquisitions in the wake of its pounds 113 million acquisition of Healthworld Corporation, the US-based healthcare specialist.

Cordiant, the Bates network parent, is poised for more acquisitions

in the wake of its pounds 113 million acquisition of Healthworld

Corporation, the US-based healthcare specialist.



But Michael Bungey, Cordiant’s chief executive, said the targets were

more likely to be companies specialising in a range of services

encompassing direct and database marketing, PR and design rather than

another advertising network.



The initiative follows a refinancing of the group, which Bungey said

would make almost pounds 97 million available for expansion.



Clients of the Nasdaq-quoted Healthworld include Johnson & Johnson,

SmithKline Beecham and American Home Products, which last week announced

its intention to merge with Warner-Lambert, which works with Bates.



Its acquisition transforms Bates into a major player in the world

healthcare market, which is set for huge growth as the world’s

population ages and increasing numbers of drugs move from prescription

only to being sold over the counter.



Lorna Tilbian, the West LB Panmure analyst, welcomed Bates’ move. ’It’s

in the right area because the market is growing and it provides

protection in the event of a downturn,’ she said.



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