St Ives buys £50m pharma agency

FL83643St Ives Group has bolstered its marketing operation with a £50m deal for The Hive Group, a company which specialises in the highly lucrative healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing sector.
The deal comprises £16.8m in cash and around 2.1 million shares in St Ives, with a further tranche of £29.1m, made up of 80% in cash and 20% in shares, depending on the agency’s performance over the next three years.
The group contains three separate businesses, Hive, Ebee and Pollen, and in line with other acquisitions, it will operate as a subsidiary of St Ives. The current management team of Ian Busby, Jas Hummel and Tim Scorer, will remain in place.
Based in London, the group has about 70 staff, and works with an international client base across both pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline,Pfizer, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Roche and the NHS. In 2013, it generated revenue of £9.1m.
St Ives chief executive Patrick Martell said: “Hive’s offering of consultancy services and digital solutions complements St Ives’ existing businesses, and the acquisition considerably increases our credentials in the large and very attractive healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries.
“I am delighted to welcome the Hive team to the group and look forward to supporting their growth plans.”
Hive joins the likes of Occam, Response One, Amaze, Realise, The Shop, Branded3 Search in St Ives’ Marketing Services Group.

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