YFM Equity Partners exits Fishawack in deal with Growth Capital Partners

Medical communications agency Fishawack has a new private equity backer through a secondary buy-out deal.

Growth Capital Partners (GCP) has acquired Fishawack from YFM Equity Partners in a £13 million transaction.

Fishawack provides medical communication services to what it calls 12 of the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical firms. It was originally set up in 2001 by Oliver Dennis and Dominic Miller, and now has locations in the UK, Switzerland and the US.

Exiting private equity firm YFM Equity Partners first backed Fishawack back in March 2008 when it led a £6 million transaction. It then went on to fund three separate acquisitions for Fishawack including US-based Nexus in 2009, Alpha-Plus Medical Communications in 2010 and Swiss-based Phocus Services in 2011.

As part of the new deal, founding directors Dennis and Miller, as well as managing director Gail Florkhart and operations director Rachel Davies, will continue to run the company. With GCP acquiring a majority stake in the business, partner Simon Jobson will take a seat on the board.

Dennis comments, ‘We are really pleased to be working in partnership with GCP and they have a strong track record of helping businesses to deliver on their growth plans.

‘We want to continue to build on our market-leading position, increase our customer base and expand further internationally.’

New backer Growth Capital Partners recently raised its £160 million Fund III and has seen its 2013 dealmaking include a £13 million investment into Aberdeen-based Scopus Engineering.

Jobson adds, ‘Fishawack has achieved an impressive level of growth over the last few years and is now considered a leading medical communications business.

‘Our flexible funding structure will support the business in its next phase of development as it looks to expand further internationally and we have the necessary hands on experience to drive the business forward through a buy and build strategy.’

Paul Cannings, director at YFM Equity Partners, says that the firm’s backing of Fishawack’s acquisition strategy has enabled the business to treble during the investment period.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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