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GolinHarris Acquires Virgo Health - Analyst Blog

Posted: 7/6/2012 4:47:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AZN;BMY;GSK;IPG;JNJ

GolinHarris, a division of Interpublic Group ( IPG ) intends to acquire Virgo Heath, an independent UK-based Healthcare Communications firm. Through this acquisition GolinHarris plans to launch a new specialty practice in healthcare focused on digital health. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Digital Health, is an emerging trend in the healthcare industry, wherein technology and heath combine together to be able to provide better and almost accurate solutions to the patients health related problems. It unites smart phones/tablets (new means of 24/7 access to information), with big data in the cloud (enabling personalization), game dynamics / mechanics (new engagement mechanisms), the increased engagement of physicians online (interactive doctors) and a vibrant social conversation about health.

Founded by Angie Wiles and Sarah Matthew in 2003, Virgo Heath is a 60 member London-based agency providing a full range of services in healthcare communications across three primary business units that include Virgo HEALTH Communications (medical healthcare PR), Virgo HEALTH Education (medical education) and Virgo HEALTH Consumer (consumer health and OTC PR). These are accompanied by Virgo VANTAGE, its strategic consultancy offering.

GolinHarris, a leading global communications consultancy is primarily focused to help clients win in a complex, connected society. It operates through a model, called g4, providing clients with a dedicated team of specialists, including strategists, creators, connectors and catalysts, who are embedded in every account.

Therefore, the acquisition will combine Virgo's Healthcare legacy with GolinHarris' digital expertise to offer its clients the access to key professionals, procedures and medication in digital health. Virgo also brings with it big ticket companies of healthcare such as Astra Zeneca ( AZN ), Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ), Janssen, Novartis ( NVS ), Pfizer ( PFE ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY ).

As per the agreement, Angie Wiles and Sarah Matthew will continue in their current roles, reporting to Fred Cook, CEO, GolinHarris. Apart from holding senior position at GolinHarris, Angie and Sarah will also be responsible for building the Virgo brand in the North America.

Interpublic currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 which implies a short-term Hold recommendation on the stock.

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