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Opportunity knocks for Red Door

Leading specialist healthcare PR consultancy is acquired by marketing services group

Creston, the diversified marketing services group, has bought leading PR and medical education consultancy Red Door Communications for £13.5m.

Under the deal, the consultancy will continue to trade as Red Door Communications, with founders Catherine Warne and Julia Harries remaining in their current roles for at least four years. Red Door will receive an initial consideration of £6.5m, up to £300,000 dependent on the net assets of the consultancy and a further £6.7m dependent on its financial performance in the period to March 31, 2009.

Around 25 per cent of the final £6.7m will be invested in a profit share scheme for staff at Red Door.

The consultancy has demonstrated consistent year-on-year growth since 2000 and for the year ended December 31, 2004, the consultancy posted revenues of £3.6m and pre-tax profits of £960,000. As of December 2004, Red Door's gross assets stood at £1.76m. Its clients include AstraZeneca UK, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche Diagnostics and Schering Healthcare.

ìIn Creston we have found a partner who shares our ethos and passion for our work,î said Catherine Warne, managing director of Red Door Communications.

Red Door, which has grown from a standing start to now employing 32 people, was named as the fastest growing healthcare PR agency in 2004. It is the current CommuniquÈ Consultancy of the Year and was recently named European Healthcare PR Consultancy of the Year at the inaugural European Sabre Awards.

It was the founder member of the Healthcare Communications Agency and came seventh in PR Week's healthcare consultancy league table.

ìWe are confident that joining Creston will help us achieve our full potential as a leading specialist healthcare PR agency and further our organic growth both in the UK and internationally, whilst allowing us to retain the unique elements that have made Red Door Communications one of the fastest growing and most successful agencies in our field,î Warned added.

The Red Door buy-out deal is the seventh acquisition made by Creston since January 2001 when the company repositioned itself as a marketing services group. Companies acquired by Creston include: Marketing Services, direct marketing and CRM firm The Real Adventure Marketing Communications Group, national channel marketing communications company EMO, Nelson Bostock Communications, market research firm CML Research and advertising agency DLKW.

2nd September 2008

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