Lucid Group expected to launch sale process next year – sources

22 July 2020

UK healthcare communications company Lucid Group is expected to come to market early next year, two sources familiar with the situation said. The Loudwater, Buckinghamshire-headquartered firm will likely conduct a beauty parade to appoint advisors later this year, the sources said. 

UK healthcare communications company Lucid Group is expected to come to market early next year, two sources familiar with the situation said.

 

The Loudwater, Buckinghamshire-headquartered firm will likely conduct a beauty parade to appoint advisors later this year, the sources said. 

 

LDC-backed Lucid expects to be sold off its 2020 financial year figures, one source said. Lucid now generates around USD 10m (GBP 7.9m) EBITDA, the second source said.

 

Lucid projected GBP 6m EBITDA on GBP 25m revenue for 2019, without taking into account acquisitions then in progress, up from GBP 4.5m EBITDA on GBP 18.5m revenue in 2018, CEO Dennis O’Brien told Mergermarket last year.

 

Last year, Lucid acquired Healthcare 21 Communications, a UK healthcare communications specialist for GBP 1.2m, as well as Bluedog, a UK-based creative and digital consultancy for GBP 1m, according to Companies House filings.

 

Bridgepoint could have a look at the asset, one source said. The sponsor acquired Fishawack Health, another healthcare communications agency held by LDC, in April. KPMG acted as sellside advisor on the deal, as reported by Mergermarket.

 

Lucid Group operates within a stable part of the pharmaceutical media sector and is likely to garner a high level of interest, according to a sector banker.

 

Besides the Fishawack deal, similar recent transactions in the sector include Envision Pharma, of which GHO Capital bought the remaining stake it did not own from previous co-owner Ardian, as reported earlier this month.

 

Prime Global, which has a family of medical communications agencies, is also on the block with BDO recently appointed as sellside advisor, as reported.

 

LDC acquired a minority interest in the business for GBP 11m in 2017. The UK Lloyds Banking Group-backed sponsor generally has a three-to-five-year holding period, a third source familiar with the situation said.

 

Founded in 2007, Lucid has offices in London and Beaconsfield, UK, and New York City, from where it provides medical education, communication, strategic consultancy and digital services to drive better disease and patient management.

 

O’Brien previously indicated that the company was keen to expand into the US through bolt-on acquisitions, although he recognised that US targets were likely to be larger than those in the UK, which could make integration difficult.

 

O’Brien and his fellow co-founder Janet Steele own a majority stake in the business.

 

Lucid Group, LDC and Bridgepoint declined to comment.