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April 16, 2008

Universal CIT acquired by United Drug PLC

Leading pharma specialist agency Universal CIT Ltd, which organises over 400 events a year for 15 clients in seven countries, has announced its acquisition by United Drug plc, a leading provider of services to the pharmaceutical industry in the UK, US, Ireland and Continental Europe.

In acquiring Universal, United Drug will add to its existing meetings and events offering, having acquired the Harrogate-based pharmaceutical conference service company Procon Conferences, in November 2007.

United Drug chief executive, Liam FitzGerald said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Universal. This  allows us to further pursue our strategy of building a range of marketing-related services around our core sales offering within the contract sales & marketing services division and continue to benefit from the trend amongst pharmaceutical manufacturers to outsource non-core functions.”

Under the new ownership, Universal will retain its name and brand. Its key management team will remain in place, as will its account teams.

Universal’s managing director, Mike Ford, commented: “Belonging to a larger group with such obvious synergies, will not only enhance our commercial positioning, but also strengthen our knowledge and involvement in the pharmaceutical sector. 

“Universal is already the UK’s largest pharma agency specialist, but this move will substantially increase our potential for growth and development.”

Ford added: “As far as our focus and our client service delivery are concerned, it will be a matter of business-as-usual. In the medium and longer term, however, we are confident that our clients will benefit from an enhanced service offering through our broader geographical reach and consolidated purchasing power.”

Universal CIT Ltd has been organising international business events for over 30 years.  The company currently employs more than 140 staff, with a UK head office in Slough and US bases in Stamford CT, Indianapolis and Orlando.

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