Mumbai: Advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Mumbai-based advertising agency Watermelon Healthcare Communications Private Limited. Once the transaction is completed, the entity will become part of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) and will be renamed Publicis Life Brands Watermelon. The transaction is subject to regulatory clearances.
Abhijit Shitut and Kiran Pai, who founded Watermelon in 2003, will be named joint Managing Directors at Publicis Life Brands Watermelon. Shitut said that although the size of the deal was significant, they could not disclose the details given the sensitivity of the matter for both the parties. He added that being part of the Publicis Groupe will “help us change the landscape of healthcare communications in India.”
Watermelon’s clients include major pharma and biotech companies such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Specialties, MSD Pharmaceuticals and Novartis to name a few.
I Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) is the largest health-oriented agency network in the world. A division of Publicis Group, PHCG manages top-tier agencies specializing in promoting innovative solutions in advertising, medical education, sales and marketing, digital, market access, and medical and scientific affairs.