Arun Sudhaman 07 Mar 2023 // 7:00AM GMT
FRANKFURT — WPP has acquired German healthcare specialist 3K Agentur für Kommunikation (3K), which becomes part of Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a H+K spokesperson confirmed there would be no redundancies or client conflicts as a result of the acquisition. 3K's clients include multinational pharma companies, consumer health brands and local biotech startups — including Roche, AstraZeneca, Ratiopharm, Vfa, Abbey and Intercept.
Founded in 1998 by managing director Ruth Bastuck (pictured), 3K adds 20+ staffers to H+K's healthcare presence in Europe. The deal comes after Wendy Lund returned to WPP as chief client officer for health and wellness last year, with FM Schmidt also named as WPP's first president in Germany.
It also marks H+K's second acquisition in less than six months, after the addition of LatAm specialist JeffreyGroup, the WPP PR firm's first agency purchase in almost a decade. The agency has grown more than 25% over the past two years, and also recently named Brenna Terry to lead global healthcare.
“Healthcare is in a perpetual cycle of growth and transformation, demanding superior communication and stakeholder strategies," said H+K Strategies CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva. "Hill+Knowlton has a large role to play in this dynamic market. The addition of 3K will meaningfully strengthen our international capability in healthcare, and I am delighted to welcome them to the H+K family."
"Healthcare is such an important component of H+K’s global strategy, and we could not have found a better fit, culturally, strategically, or operationally. We are equally dedicated to shaping excellent medical-to-human interactions," added Bastuck. "Tapping into the diverse resources and global reach of the H+K and WPP networks will create many exciting new opportunities for both our clients and our employees."
3K becomes the latest in a series of acquisitions — including Fēnom Digital, Diff, Passport, Newcraft and Corebiz — that WPP has made in the last six months alone.
"Amid today’s dynamic macroeconomic conditions we have seen great resilience and growth in the healthcare sector, as well as across our own PR businesses," said WPP CEO Mark Read. "Germany is our third largest market, and the addition of 3K to Hill+Knowlton’s growing portfolio further strengthens WPP’s global healthcare offer to clients."