Cordiant in £113m health acquisition

Cordiant Communications Group (CCG), parent company of Bates Worldwide, Scholz & Friends and 50 per cent owner of Zenith Media Worldwide, has acquired US healthcare marketing company, Healthworld Corporation, in a share deal worth £113m.

CCG intends to use Healthworld Corporation – which specialises in direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns for prescription drugs – to build a global healthcare marketing network in the 70 countries it operates in.

Advertising and marketing in the healthcare sector is increasing, particularly in the US following the relaxation of the Food & Drug Administration rules in 1997. Agencies are positioning themselves for similar deregulation in Europe.

CCG operates healthcare marketing agencies in the US, UK, Italy and Australia under the Healthcom brand. Bates UK has a healthcare arm called Health@Bates which handles Roche and Warner-Lambert.

The group’s existing healthcare operations will be aligned under Healthworld in a new division of Bates Worldwide. The Healthworld management will continue to run the business.

Michael Bungey, chief executive of CCG, says: “We already work for some of the world’s leading healthcare companies through Bates Worldwide. Joining up with the Healthworld team gives us an outstanding opportunity to become the leading global healthcare marketing business.”

Healthworld Corporation made pre-tax profits of $7.4m (£4.6) in 1998, up from $4.9m (£2.8m) the year before, on revenues of $63.7m (£39.8m).

CCG is offering 6.602 shares for each Healthworld Corporation share in a tax-free exchange, valuing the company at £113m. The deal should be completed in the first quarter of next year, subject to shareholder approval.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here