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Four Communications makes further move into healthcare sector with acquisition of Packer Forbes

Independent integrated agency Four Communications Group (Four) today announced the acquisition of award-winning independent healthcare communications consultancy Packer Forbes (www.packerforbes.com).

Packer Forbes provides a range of services including public relations, medical education, digital, patient advocacy and access communications to blue chip pharmaceutical clients which include Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences and Novo Nordisk. Packer Forbes will rebrand as Four Health Communications and will sit within a new international healthcare grouping, Four Health, which also includes Four Health Media, the specialist healthcare media planning and buying agency acquired in 2015. The combined Four Health offer will have some 35 staff and a turnover of £17M a year (www.fourcommunications.com/health). 

Four Health will provide a fully integrated service, working closely with Four's public health, public affairs, media buying, marketing and digital experts to create a significant new offering within the healthcare communications arena. Alexa Forbes remains as chief executive of Four Health Communications and will work closely with Emma Statham (MD, Four Health Media) to evolve and grow the future Four Health service. 

Nan Williams, Four Communications Group chief executive said: "Packer Forbes is a fantastic fit with Four - and will double our experience in the important health market. They share our culture of delivering excellence for clients and creating an exciting place for staff to grow." 

Chief executive of Packer Forbes, Alexa Forbes said: "I am really excited by the challenge of establishing and evolving the integrated Four Health offering. Working alongside fellow experts from across the healthcare communications spectrum will be professionally stimulating for the whole team and I genuinely believe we will be able to offer a truly unique service for our clients." 

This acquisition is the fourth since Four successfully secured a £10m investment of equity finance from the BGF (Business Growth Fund), the UK's most active provider of growth capital to mid-sized businesses, in 2015. 

Over the past four years, Four has built a strong track record of acquiring and integrating communications agencies which offer complementary services to the Group including bgb in 2011, Colman Getty in 2012, Kinross & Render in 2013, Consolidated PR in 2014. In 2015, Four acquired MSA Media, Broadgate Mainland and Welsh integrated agency FBA. There are further acquisitions planned for 2016. 

Four is now ranked no.15 in PR Week's 2016 Consultancies report, no 6.Independent in the UK, no.4 Consumer PR Agency, no.7 Public Affairs, no.1 in public sector communications and is no.46 in the world. In 2016 Four was ranked in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain's 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years, the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain's mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales and was named by the London Stock Exchange as one of the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2016

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