TPG makes significant investment in BGB Group

TPG's investment values the medical communications agency at $760m, sources tell PE Hub, as growth in drug development spurs more demand for the industry's services.

TPG this summer made a strategic growth investment in medical communications agency BGB Group, according to several people familiar with the transaction. 

The transaction comes as the world of “MedComms” businesses witness insatiable demand from their end-market, biopharma and pharma companies, which are deploying huge sums of capital to develop new therapies and successfully reach their target audience. 

The size of TPG’s investment is unclear, however the transaction valued BGB at $760 million, translating to around 17x EBITDA, three sources said. Houlihan Lokey provided financial advice to BGB on the transaction, another source confirmed. 

TPG, which invested in BGB through both TPG Growth and TPG Healthcare Partners, declined to comment on metrics although confirmed its investment.

“We are thrilled to have made an investment in BGB and we are excited to be partnering with [managing partners Greg Passaretti and Brendon Phalen] to grow and scale one of the leading science-driven integrated healthcare communications agencies,” said Matt Hobart, co-managing partner of TPG Growth.

BGB declined to comment.

BGB, based in New York City, is a healthcare communications agency with capabilities including medical marketing, strategic consulting, digital strategy and execution, and promotional advertising. The company says that it plays at “the intersection of creativity and science.”

Founded in 2005, BBG employs 275 and counting, including 91 doctors, according to its website. The company partners with 20-plus clients across more than 40 brands, operating via its five subsidiaries: BGBNYC, BIONYC, SCIONYC, ICONYC, SYNGENYC.

TPG joins a growing list of private equity firms investing behind companies providing an array of outsourced communications-related services to the life sciences industry – be it marketing and digital transformation strategies, commercialization and market access services, data analytics or strategic consulting.

On Thursday, RLH Equity Partners announced its acquisition of Imre, a digital communications agency committed to creating purpose driven ideas for blue-chip healthcare and consumer brands. JEGI Clarity advised Imre on the deal.

Earlier this week, PE Hub wrote that commercial services consolidator Eversana, backed by Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners, prevailed in the process for Intouch Group. The anticipated deal is expected to value the life sciences-focused marketing services agency at at least $950 million, some of the people said. That translates to at least 19x the asset’s $50 million of EBITDA, they said.

In other activity, Ares Management recently agreed to invest in The Lockwood Group, which commanded close to 21x the medical communications company’s projected 2021 EBITDA of $17 million, sources familiar with the deal terms told PE Hub. That implies a deal valued at roughly $360 million. 

Elsewhere, life sciences-focused strategic consulting business ClearView Healthcare Partners attracted an investment from GHO Capital, a European-based specialist in healthcare. Ares also was around that process, along with several other PE shops that participated, sources said. GHO’s deal for ClearView was valued at about 17x its marketed EBITDA of $43 million, implying a deal valued around the ballpark of $730 million, PE Hub wrote. 

Houlihan advised Clearview, Lockwood and Intouch on the respective transaction.

Other relevant deals of scale are on the horizon, including a highly anticipated sale process for Parthenon Capital’s Trinity Life Sciences, a global data-enabled strategy consulting business. Jefferies and SVB Leerink are engaged for sell-side financial advice, PE Hub wrote previously.