buyer: Wicks Medical Information | seller: Jobson Publishing | price: $100 million | date: April
takeaway: Despite bolt-on potential of the Jobson platform, near-term growth will be organic and will focus on developing operating and service synergies. Opportunistic acquisitions will not be ignored, however.
With the acquisition of privately-held healthcare publisher Jobson, Wicks Medical Information, an affiliate of New York-based private equity firm Wicks Group, effectively tripled its holdings in less than a year.
Wicks timed the purchase of Jobson to coincide with its acquisition of medical education company DesignWrite;previously only owning a medical-education business called MedCon.
Jobson, which had ballpark revenues of $100 million at the time of the purchase, is seen as a platform opportunity, says Wicks president Mike Tansey. "We took a look at Jobson and figured that it was one of the last remaining players with some scale;a lot of diversity in the portfolio. It’s a very nice mixture of traditional publishing, marketing services and medical-education components that looked like they gave us an opportunity to establish a platform that we cold bolt some things on to. There wasn’t really much left out there that felt that complete."
Now called Jobson Medical Information (MedCon is technically under the Wicks Medical Information umbrella, separate from the Jobson/DesignWrite combo), the company has seen particularly good performance in its optical and marketing services groups, which have contributed to the company’s more than ten percent top-line growth since the acquisition, says Tansey.
The timing of the purchase couldn’t have been better. Since the acquisition, the education market has had "spotty" performance says Tansey, due largely to changes in the regulatory environment. And going forward, though Tansey expects 25 percent growth in overall contribution, he says the education assets will have only a moderate contribution.
Despite Jobson’s original bolt-on potential, Tansey says that product-integration issues needed to be addressed first. He adds that growth going forward will come organically, with a special focus on creating synergies between the company’s five product silos;optical, U.S. pharmacists, alert marketing, education, and medical. "We want to take the capabilities that have been developed in some of these groups and make them available across the board. That’s going to be our organic focus for 2006;to make sure that the services that we’ve developed for one particular marketplace can be used across the entire company."
Opportunistic acquisitions will not be ignored, however, and Tansey says he’ll be watching out for them where appropriate. "We are absolutely looking to bolt on applications that are appropriate but we’re not chasing anything out there."
comments: A perfect buy for Wicks, adding another strong medical platform to their groupﾅA good buy for Wicks to combine with Medcon.
http://www.wicksgroup.com/home.htm | http://www.jobson.com/ | http://www.dwrite.com/ |