Hill Dickinson advises management team of Fishawack Health on MBO as it embarks on further US growth

Global healthcare communications agency Fishawack Health has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by international investment firm Bridgepoint, marking a successful exit for the company’s previous mid-market private equity investor, LDC. 

UK-headquartered Fishawack Health was established in 2001 and has grown to become one of the largest independent healthcare communications organisations in the world. It has 14 offices in Europe and the US and a highly skilled workforce of 850 employees.

The agency specialises in three areas – medical communications, commercial and marketing strategy, and commercial execution. It serves more than 100 customers across 300 different drug compounds, including all of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies and a range of innovative biotech and medical device companies. 

Hill Dickinson partner and national head of corporate, Craig Scott, advised the management team of Fishawack Health on the equity investment terms relating to the MBO, which was facilitated via  equity investment by Bridgepoint Europe VI, a €5.7 billion middle-market buyout fund.

Craig Scott said he was delighted that Fishawack’s management team, including co-founder and chief executive Oliver Dennis and chief operating officer Dominic Miller, had once again entrusted Hill Dickinson to act for them. He said: ‘Hill Dickinson has advised the Fishawack management team since 2008, guiding them through several stages of growth through private equity investment and acquisitions. We are delighted for Oliver, Dominic and all of the management team at Fishawack as they embark on this latest exciting step in the company’s growth.’

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Oliver Dennis added: ‘Today we’re marking a step-change in our ambitions, especially in the US and Asia. That is why we have invited Bridgepoint to partner with us. They not only have healthcare expertise but have a substantial international track record of helping businesses like ours grow organically and via selective acquisition activity.

‘Craig and the team at Hill Dickinson have been by our side as legal advisers these past 12 years as we have grown and expanded into international markets. We are grateful for their hard work in helping us achieve a timely and successful completion of this latest significant equity investment from Bridgepoint.’

Jamie Wyatt, a partner and head of Bridgepoint’s healthcare team, commented: ‘Our ambition is for Fishawack Health to build on its platform and become a leading global provider of outsourced R&D consulting services across the lifecycle of a drug. The market for these services is large and growing but currently fragmented. Fishawack Health is now well-placed to become a trusted acquisition partner in that space.’

Fishawack Health was previously backed by LDC in a £38 million buyout in 2017. LDC subsequently provided the business with £18.5 million of follow-on funding to support a series of five acquisitions, which helped extend its global footprint and service offering.

Since 2017, revenues have increased by 300% and headcount by 250%. Fishawack Health has also cemented itself as a key player in North America and Europe. 

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Fishawack Health and Bridgepoint simultaneously announced the acquisition of Skysis, a specialist strategic and market access consulting company in the US that is focused on the pharma and biopharmaceutical industry.

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