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GHO Capital and Management Acquire Ardian Majority Stake in Envision Pharma Group to Accelerate Continued Growth

Move set to advance Envision’s global ambition to be the leading strategic partner in medical affairs

05 November 2020

London, UK:
Global Healthcare Opportunities, or 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 (“Envision” or the “Company”), a leading technology-enabled scientific communications company.

The transaction sees GHO lead a consortium of its investors headed by Mubadala Investment Company, and including HarbourVest Partners and Northwestern Mutual to drive a new phase of growth, while Ardian exits its investment following a successful 4-year partnership with Envision and GHO.

Founded in 2001, Envision helps biopharmaceutical and medical device companies commercialize new compounds through medical strategy, strategic publications planning, and medical communications delivery. 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.

Over the last 19 years Envision has enjoyed outstanding year-on-year organic growth, with expansion supplemented via a number of key strategic acquisitions in medical strategy, Health Economics and Market Access (HEMA), and behavioral science-led communications. Consequently, Envision’s global reach now extends to Australia, Japan, Serbia, and Hungary, with the company employing over 800 people across 14 offices.

Having partnered with Envision for 4 years, GHO has a unique view of the business and its growth trajectory and is backing the management for continued expansion. Envision will pursue significant rollout of its iEnvision technology to widen its suite of platform solutions and strategic communications capabilities, and expects to see increased synergy between these two elements.

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.

David Thompson, CEO, Envision, said, “Having worked alongside GHO for 4 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.”

The Partners at GHO Capital commented, “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 and in delivering Envision’s full potential as the go-to strategic partner in outsourced medical affairs, communications, and consulting services.”

Brian Hepburn, Co-Chairman and Founder, 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 5-year business plan.”

Bruno Ladriere, Managing Director of Ardian Buyout in the UK, said, “Over the last 4 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.

Envision was advised by Irwin Mitchell and EY.

Ardian was advised by Rothschild & Co and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.