£15m acquisition of Cheshire communications provider

Healthcare Communications in Macclesfield has been acquired by IMImobile in a deal worth £15m.

The company specialises in appointment management and patient experience communications, working with 140 NHS organisations.

The move has been partly funded by a £12m debt facility from Silicon Valley bank, with an initial £9m cash payment, and a further deferred consideration of up to £6m in cash or shares, which is based on performance.

"The acquisition of Healthcare Communications significantly enhances our position in the public services sector with a leading digital communications provider in the UK healthcare market, a sector which has seen a renewed focus on operational efficiency and patient experience,” said Jay Patel, chief executive officer of IMImobile.

“We see significant potential to support the NHS in delivering material cost efficiency and improved patient experience. Our solutions can automate and streamline many existing processes and patient journeys and we look forward to demonstrating our capabilities to the Healthcare Communications customer base.”

Due to the “efficiency drive” within the NHS, more emphasis is expected to be placed on digital communications, such as SMS, which is where Healthcare Communications has the proven technology.

The agency’s founder and managing director, Mike Cunningham, commercial director, Kenny Bloxham and other senior management will remain with the business following the deal.

It’s the latest North Best acquisition for the London-based group, with TextLocal being bought for £13.1m in 2014.