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Huntsworth expands with £25.6m US acquisition

LONDON - Huntsworth, the UK public relations group, has acquired US-based healthcare communications company Dorland Global Corporation, in a deal worth up to £25.6m.

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Huntsworth, led by chairman Lord Chadlington, will initially pay £10.6m in cash but the final amount could increase depending on Dorland's performance between now and the end of 2010.

Dorland's, whose clients include Novartis and Procter & Gamble, reported a pre-tax profit of £1.8m in 2006.

Huntsworth, in a statement, said: "Dorland offers advertising, medical education, and public and professional relations services, which mirror and extend the services that Huntsworth Health provides."

Huntsworth last month issued a trading statement in advance of its preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2006, which will be announced towards the end of March.

It said, underlying operating margin before central costs at its public relations business exceeded its 20% target, while new business wins exceeded the group's £50 million target. Like-for-like revenue growth grew by more than 6%.

The group was formed in 2005 following a merger between UK based holding companies Incepta and Huntsworth. Its clients include 37 FTSE 100 companies.

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