Waterland Private Equity (Waterland) has invested in integrated medhealth communication group (IMC) through a primary investment that will support ambitious plans to create a leading independent provider of global healthcare communications and consulting to the pharmaceutical industry.IMC Group is independently owned and has been committed to healthcare communications since 2006. IMC has offices in London, Cambridge (UK), Toronto, Boston and Cairo and a highly qualified employee base of 100 people. IMC provides healthcare communication and medical affairs support to over 50 pharmaceutical, biotech, vaccine, device and diagnostic companies globally, including eight of the 20 largest drug companies in the world such as AstraZeneca and Takeda. Five integrated services are currently offered by imc: medical communication, interactive digital and virtual, creative marketing, customer insights and patient engagement; collectively, these are aimed at enriching the lives of patients through human centric programmes that inform decisions to improve health.
IMC’s underlying markets are expected to grow at circa 9 per cent pa as an ageing population boosts demand for new drug treatments and R&D investment supported by increasing regulation and outsourcing. This in turn is boosting demand for effective healthcare communications.
The investment from Waterland enables the IMC Group to expand its global footprint through a buy-and-build strategy with significant follow-on funding available to acquire and build out communications, digital and consulting agencies across the UK, North America and EMEA. The investment will also be used to add further capabilities and service offerings, further enhancing the group’s existing digital and technology capabilities.
IMC and Waterland have partnered with Viv Adshead, former President and CEO of Ashfield Communications, part of UDG Healthcare plc. Adshead is an experienced senior executive and has worked in healthcare communications for over 25 years. Adshead joins the imc board as Non-Executive Director.
Azhar Rana, President of imc North America will continue to drive the Group’s expansion into the world’s largest healthcare market. Azhar has led the Toronto office since 2016 and recently led the successful launch of imc’s new office in Boston, building on the Group’s regional presence.
Shairose Ebrahim, Co-Founder, President and CEO of IMC Group says: “I am really excited to be able to continue the successful imc group journey with Waterland as a partner. The investment will allow us to accelerate my ambition of building a truly global, independent healthcare communication agency group that provides clients with a diverse range of service offerings across the entire life cycle of a pharmaceutical product as well as offering best-in-class initiatives aimed at improving patient outcomes. With the current unprecedented circumstances, we will work closely with Waterland to ensure that imc’s digital and virtual capabilities are market-leading and support the educational needs of healthcare professional and patients alike. I am thoroughly looking forward to taking imc to the next level with Waterland”.
Waterland has deep experience supporting businesses in pharmaceuticals and healthcare markets, including Fagron, a global leader in pharmaceutical compounding, and Omega Pharma, a leading manufacturer of OTC pharmaceutical products. In addition, Waterland recently supported Dept, in the digital agency market, to grow from 200 to 1,500 digital specialists in around four years.
The Waterland team was led by Wouter Roduner and Dominic Graham with support from Calum MacEwan and Rob Liguz. The investment, which reflects the firm’s proactive and market-led approach, is the culmination of a year of work from the Waterland team and Viv Adshead. The transaction is Waterland’s 6th platform deal by the UK team since opening the UK office in 2017.
Dominic Graham, Senior Investment Manager at Waterland Private Equity, commented: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with IMC. Shairose and her talented team have delivered incredible growth over the past three years building on their strong reputation, deep scientific capabilities and customer relationships. IMC has a clear vision for the next phase of growth; digital solutions and acquisitions will play an important part and we will shortly be announcing some more exciting news in this regard.”
Waterland Private Equity was advised by: PwC (Financial and Tax), Candesic (Commercial), DWF (Legal), Clearwater International (Debt Advisory) and Marsh (Insurance).