London-headquartered GHO Capital Partners LLP, the European specialist investor in healthcare, together with the existing Envision management team and employees, have increased their investment in Envision Pharma Group, the scientific communications company.
The transaction means GHO will lead a consortium of its investors – headed by Mubadala Investment Company, and including HarbourVest Partners and Northwestern Mutual – in a new phase of growth. As part of the deal, Ardian exits its investment following a successful four-year partnership with Envision and GHO.
Founded in 2001, Envision helps biopharmaceutical and medical device companies commercialise new compounds through medical strategy, strategic publications planning, and medical communications provision. Its flagship technology iEnvision – a global medical affairs platform – supports medical strategy, scientific communications internal/external research, and grant/request management activities to help pharmaceutical companies operate their businesses compliantly.
Envision’s global reach now extends to Australia, Japan, Serbia, and Hungary, with the company employing more than 800 people across 14 offices.
A GHO statement said: “With acquisitions likely to play an important role toward facilitating the delivery of a deeper, more diversified service offering to global clients, Envision is set to enhance its position as the leading strategic medical affairs partner to the pharmaceutical industry.”
GHO Capital was founded by Dennis Gillings, Mireille Gillings, Mike Mortimer, Alan MacKay and Andrea Ponti.
A statement from GHO Capital Partners said: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with David and his management team. Envision is a company we know well and continue to believe in owing to its unique services and technology proposition. We look forward to supporting this ambitious team on their next phase of growth.”
David Thompson, CEO of Envision, said, “Having worked alongside GHO for four years, we are delighted they have chosen to extend and deepen the partnership in a new investment cycle. We see a clear commitment to expanding our reach across the healthcare services spectrum, most notably in medical affairs, with the ultimate goal of enhancing physicians’ abilities to improve patient outcomes.”
Brian Hepburn, co-chairman and founder of Envision, added, “For GHO Capital to take the majority shareholding in Envision speaks volumes in terms of its belief in our business and vision. We will be partnering with a team who already has a deep understanding of both the healthcare sector and our business, who know and respect the leadership team, and can positively contribute to our new five-year business plan.”
Bruno Ladriere, managing director of Ardian Buyout in the UK, said: "Over the last four years, we have worked successfully with the Envision management and GHO to support the company’s growth, adding new service lines via acquisitions to increase the value brought to its clients. This first investment of our buyout team in the UK has been a great success. We are confident the next phase of the Envision story will continue to demonstrate the company’s standing as the trusted partner of choice for medical affairs to the pharmaceutical industry.”
GHO was advised by Ropes & Gray and Alvarez & Marsal. The Ropes & Gray team was led by private capital transactions partners John Newton and Will Rosen in London, and Neill Jakobe, in Chicago. Other members of the team included finance partner Alex Robb (London), tax partners Brenda Coleman (London) and Elaine Murphy (Boston), antitrust partner Ruchit Patel (London), employment, exec comp & benefits partners Jennifer Cormier and Renata Ferrari (Boston), private capital transactions counsel Shona Ha and associates David Dowling, Nick Matthew, Eamon Gallagher and trainee Thomas Bannatyne, finance associates Pinar Celebi and Hoey Lee and trainee Kwasi Yeboah, antitrust associate Charlotte Brunsdon, tax counsel Chris Agnoli (all based in London) and employment, exec comp & benefits associate Madeline Cooper and tax associate Tom Spera (based in Boston).
Envision was advised by Irwin Mitchell and EY.
Ardian was advised by Rothschild & Co and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.