Wilmington has acquired Wellards an online healthcare education business

wilmington-logoWilmington plc (“Wilmington” or “the Group”), the knowledge leader in Risk & Compliance, Finance, Legal, and Insight, announces the acquisition of JMH Publishing Ltd (“Wellards” or “the business”), a leading UK provider of specialist and accredited online education for the healthcare industry and owner of the respected trading brand “Wellards”.

As part of Wilmington, Wellards will become the principal education and training platform for the Insight division and will benefit from Wilmington’s enhanced healthcare market access, both in the UK and in mainland Europe.

Terms of the deal

Wilmington is acquiring Wellards for an initial consideration of £4.2m payable in cash. Wellards is being acquired with £1.3m of cash in its balance sheet. A final payment of up to £0.9m in March 2016 will be made once the final net current asset position has been agreed.

The consideration will be financed out of the Group’s existing £65.0m multicurrency debt facility and is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership.

Background to Wellards

Wellards, established in 1990 is based in Kent, England and is managed by its founder John Heath, CEO who will remain with the business for a transitional period of one year. Wellards core online modules deliver the industry standard for effective and comprehensive NHS training and are an indispensable resource to enable understanding of the NHS and how it functions.

Wellards runs over 70 online courses and has more than 25,000 registered users. Subjects covered include critical areas for pharma industry representatives such as market access and financial flows, clinical modules of key therapy areas such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular health, ABPI code and compliance. Over 70% of its revenue is generated by its online training portal, Wellards Academy, which services the needs of UK pharmaceutical and Medtech commercial staff.

In the twelve month period ended 31 October 20151, revenue per the unaudited management accounts was £2.0m, an increase of 12 percent on the same period in 2014 and the adjusted profit before interest, amortisation and taxation was £0.6m1. Gross assets were 2.0m1. Wellards will provide Wilmington with an additional attractive recurring revenue stream as over 70% of its revenue is subscription based with over 90% renewal rates.

Acquisition rationale

The acquisition of Wellards is consistent with Wilmington’s strategy of acquiring complementary businesses with high repeat revenues and strong, cash generative income streams in the Group’s key markets. The addition of Wellards provides Wilmington with education capability for its Insight division completing the strategic objective of having information, networking and education offerings across all of Wilmington’s four knowledge areas.

1 unaudited.

Commenting on the acquisition, Pedro Ros, Chief Executive Officer of Wilmington, said: “I am delighted to welcome Wellards to Wilmington; its addition completes one of our strategic objectives of having information, education and networking capabilities for each of our knowledge areas. I am particularly excited by the scalability of the online products both in the broader healthcare industry and internationally where we can utilise our existing market access in particular to the French and German healthcare markets.”

John Heath, founder and CEO of Wellards commented: “I’m delighted that Wellards is now part of Wilmington. For many years we have worked closely with Binleys; a business within Wilmington’s Insight division, providing customers with the knowledge and insight needed to interpret the practical value of the Binleys resource and this acquisition is a very natural extension of our partnership. I’m looking forward to developing new services which will enhance the product portfolio of both companies”