United Drug in €16m acquisition
PHARMACEUTICAL AND healthcare services group United Drug has bought a medical communications consultancy agency in a deal potentially worth €16 million.
United Drug said yesterday that it has agreed to buy British-based Watermeadow Medical Consultancy for £13 million (€16.3 million).
The Irish company will pay £6 million when the deal goes through and a further £7 million in two years’ time if Watermeadow reaches agreed profit targets over that time.
The group will pay for the new acquisition from its own resources and existing debt facilities. In a statement yesterday, the company said that the deal will immediately boost earnings.
Watermeadow is a healthcare communications and consultancy agency based in Britain and with offices in the US.
The company employs 74 people and provides services to global pharmaceutical companies.
These include medical writing and preparing promotional material for products before they are launched.
United Drug said yesterday that all Watermeadow staff will be kept on and become part of the Irish group’s sales, marketing and medical division.
United Drug’s chief executive, Liam Fitzgerald, welcomed the announcement yesterday.
“The acquisition will allow us to continue to grow our medical communications business as we seek to broaden the range of services we provide to our international pharmaceutical manufacturer customers,” he said.
United Drug’s shares gained almost 3 per cent in early trade in Dublin yesterday, but slipped back later in the day to finish flat at €2.05.
The firm is listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. Outside Ireland, it has businesses in Britain, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US.