BDO advises Fishawack on buy and build strategy

The corporate finance team at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP in Manchester has advised Knutsford-based Fishawack on its acquisition of US-based JK Associates Inc., marking the healthcare communication agency’s third deal in 12 months.

Led by M&A partner Ruth Percival, the BDO team included James Fieldhouse and Matt Whitehead. The firm also provided financial due diligence to Fishawack, led by partner Chris Heatlie. Craig Scott, partner at Hill Dickinson in Liverpool, and Michael Murphy provided legal advice.

Fishawack, backed by private equity firm Growth Capital Partners (GCP), was founded in 2001 by Oliver Dennis and Dominic Miller and employs more than 120 employees from its Knutsford base and offices in Switzerland and the USA.

It completed a secondary buy-out with Growth Capital Partners in March 2013, which provided follow on funding to support the acquisition of Swiss firm Archimed Medical Communications just two months later and this latest acquisition of JK Associates.

Partner Ruth Percival, who heads up the North West M&A team at BDO, said: “Fishawack has ambitious plans to build its brand and market share internationally; this deal marks another step forward in its global buy and build strategy.

“BDO’s international network has offices in more than 140 countries across the world and approximately 70% of the deals we’re working on have an international component. We look forward to continuing to work with the Fishawack team on future deals to help deliver their exciting growth strategy.”

Oliver Dennis, CEO of the Fishawack Group, commented on the deal: “Clients want integrated agencies that can work together across geographies on global accounts when required. When we discussed the synergies between us it was obvious – Fishawack needed more depth in the USA and JK needed a European-based team with greater resources.”

“We have a tremendous investment partner in GCP and together we plan further expansion,” said Dominic Miller, Fishawack’s Chief Financial Officer. “We would like to thank Ruth Percival and James Fieldhouse of BDO for corporate finance lead advisory, Craig Scott and Michael Murphy of Hill Dickinson who provided legal oversight of all aspects of the transaction.”