UDG Healthcare bulks up again with another healthcare agency buy

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare bought another U.S. healthcare agency in its bid to beef up operations across the pond.

UDG Healthcare picked up another U.S. healthcare agency last week, its third in as many months. The Dublin-based healthcare services company bought MicroMass, a behavioral change specialist agency, for $75.8 million, adding to its Ashfield commercial and communications division.

UDG’s strategic acquisition tear, while not exclusively focused on the U.S. market, has tended to land it stateside because those are the companies that fit its high-growth, high-margin focus, Jez Moulding, group COO and executive vice president of UDG’s commercial Ashfield division, said in an email interview. The company has spent $275 million on acquisitions this year to date.

“All four acquisitions are an excellent fit with our strategy to build scale in the U.S. market and expand the range of capabilities we offer our global pharmaceutical client base,” he said.

UDG most recently added rare disease specialty agency Cambridge BioMarketing based in Massachusetts, along with Vyanmic, which offers advisory and consultancy services. Last year, the group bought U.K.-based healthcare communications giant Pegasus and pharma services provider STEM Marketing.

Along with the agency additions, UDG has also shaken up its U.S. executive team this year. Moulding was tapped to lead Ashfield in July. He previously spent 18 years at Sanofi, most recently as its North American head for diabetes and cardiovascular.

In May, UDG moved Greg Flynn from its Japan unit, where he was a regional head, to take the helm as U.S. regional president of commercial and clinical.

Flynn noted in a press release at the time that the U.S. business had “phenomenal growth in the last two years and this new role is an exciting opportunity to continue that growth.”

UDG sold its Irish pharma wholesale and distribution businesses to McKesson in April 2016 in a €365.5 million cash deal, divesting itself from that part of the business and raising money to reinvest in organic growth and acquisitions in global healthcare services.