fishawackKnutsford-based medical communications agency Fishawack Communications, has been sold by its former owner, the private equity house YFM, to Growth Capital Partners.

It is understood that YFM had been seeking a new majority shareholder of the business for some time. The headline figure for the deal is £13m.

Fishawack enjoyed sales of £9.5m for its last declared year, the 12 months to March 2012  (up from £8m in the previous 12 months) with operating profits up from £513,000 to £717,000.

The company employs around 120 staff across its offices in the UK, USA and Switzerland.

Services provided by Fishawack span communications and publications, medical writing, stakeholder relations advice, design and increasingly digital services. Around half of the company’s employees are medical writers.

The company claims to work for a dozen of the world’s leading pharma companies.

The company runs its UK Southern operations from a base in Abingdon. Two acquisitions, Alpha-Plus in 2010 and PHOCUS in 2012 brought with them offices in the States and Switzerland.

Oliver Dennis

Oliver Dennis

Fishawack was founded in 2001 by Oliver Dennis and Dominic Miller, respectively the CEO and chief financial officer. Dennis and Miller will remain with the company as will the managing director Gail Flockhart and operations director Rachel Davies. A representative of  Growth Capital Partners, Simon Jobson, will join the board.

Jobson said: “Fishawack has achieved an impressive level of growth over the last few years and is now considered a leading medical communications business.

“Our flexible funding structure will support the business in its next phase of development as it looks to expand further internationally and we have the necessary hands on experience to drive the business forward through a buy and build strategy.”

Fishawack is one of several medical communications agencies which are based in the North. McCann Complete Medical is based in Macclesfield while Adelphi runs its global HQ from Bollington.