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Next Fifteen acquires US consultancy Health Unlimited

Health Unlimited provides communication services to companies involved in solving global health issues, with previous clients including the International AIDS Society

Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC - Next Fifteen acquires health consultancy and comms agency Health Unlimited

Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC (LON:NFC) is to acquire US health consultancy and communications agency Health Unlimited in a US$27.7mln deal.

Health Unlimited provides communication services to companies involved in solving global health issues, with previous clients including the International AIDS Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

READ: Next Fifteen higher as it forecasts “positive change” from Archetype agency in second half

The UK digital marketing firm said it would pay US$21mln of the purchase price in cash, with the remaining balance to be satisfied with 979,970 new shares in the company.

Next Fifteen said it may also pay additional funds subject to certain earnings milestones, with the total price paid to be a maximum of US$45mln.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive for NFC’s current financial year, with Health Unlimited having reported a pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 March of US$5.2mln.

Tim Dyson, chief executive of Next Fifteen, said the purchase was a “major milestone” for the group which would add a specialist business to its portfolio and “greatly” expand its international footprint.

Half-year profits rise

In a separate announcement, Next Fifteen reported an adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months ended 31 July of £17.2mln, 14% higher than the prior year, while net revenues were up 11% at £118.7mln.

The interim dividend was also hiked 15.7% to 2.5p per share.

Organic revenue in the period fell 1.3%, which Next blamed on the restructuring of its Archetype business and the loss of Samsung and Just Eat at clients at its Beyond brand, although it continued to expect a return to “high single digit” organic growth in its next financial year.

Meanwhile, the company said its prospects for the second half of the current year were “good” and it remained confident of meeting its expectations for the full year.

“We are increasingly confident about our next fiscal year as the changes at Archetype and Beyond work through alongside the full year impact of our more recently acquired businesses”, Dyson said.

In early trading on Tuesday, Next Fifteen's shares were 9.5% lower at 452.6p.

--Adds share price--

Quick facts: Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC

Price: 470 GBX

LSE:NFC
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £406.8 m
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Next Fifteen confident on meeting full year expectations as it acquires US...

Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC's (LON:NFC) Tim Dyson tells Proactive London they're to acquire health consultancy and communications agency Health Unlimited in a US$27.7mln deal. Separately Next Fifteen reported an adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months ended 31 July of £17.2mln,...

on 1/10/19

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