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Next 15 Buys US Division of Health Unlimited

October 1 2019

UK-based marcoms group Next Fifteen Communications has acquired Creston Plc US Holdings Inc and its subsidiary Health Unlimited from Creston Overseas Holdings Limited, for a maximum sum of $45.0m. The UK division of Health Unlimited will remain part of the Unlimited Group.

Dale Bornstein'Buy-and-build' marcoms group Creston became known as The Unlimited Group in 2017, having previously been sold to fund manager DBAY Advisors for around £75.8m. Its portfolio includes 'human understanding agency' Walnut Unlimited, which was formed from the Group's four existing insight businesses - full service agency ICM Unlimited, fieldwork business ICM Direct, product development and sensory research specialist Marketing Sciences Unlimited, and its consumer neuroscience consultancy which already bore the name ofWalnut Unlimited.

Health Unlimited offers a range of solutions using strategic communications to change behaviour and drive policy changes. For the year ended 31st March 2019, the US division reported net revenues of $17.4m, adjusted profit before tax of $5.2m and net assets of $17.0m. The initial consideration for the acquisition is around $27.7m, with further funds payable around May 2020 and May 2021 dependent on future EBITDA performance.

The deal adds to Next Fifteen's portfolio, which includes data and insights group Savanta. Following the acquisition, the US division of Health Unlimited will trade as M Booth Health, operating as a separate agency and reporting to CEO Dale Bornstein (pictured), while Health Unlimited Global CEO Timothy Bird and his US-based management team will remain with the business. Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen, comments: 'This acquisition is a major milestone for Next 15 as it adds another specialist business to the portfolio and greatly expands our international footprint in the healthcare sector. We see significant complementary opportunities for both businesses'.

Web sites: www.next15.com , www.unlimitedgroup.com and www.mbooth.com .

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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