JORDAN MCGRATH BUYS MEDICAL AGENCY: TOLTZIS COMMUNICATIONS IS SHOP'S FIRST ACQUISITION

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Hoping to expand beyond its existing business in the booming healthcare market, Jordan McGrath Case & Partners has acquired medical ad agency Toltzis Communications and its partner company Medical Education Group.

This represents the first acquisition by New York-based Jordan McGrath. Terms weren't disclosed.

LOOKING BEYOND OTC

"We as an agency have always been powerful in the OTC business," said Pat McGrath, agency president-CEO. "We want to bid on that other business and capitalize on our knowledge and expertise."

Mr. McGrath said about half the agency's $580 million in billings are over-the-counter assignments from healthcare clients Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Pharmacia & Upjohn.

"We're a prime candidate for the [direct-to-consumer] and Rx areas. We think the combination with Toltzis will fill in the gap," he said.

Trevose, Pa.-based Toltzis had $39 million in billings last year and counts Johnson & Johnson and American Home Products Corp.'s Wyeth-Ayerst as clients for professional advertising. It also has done some DTC work for J&J.

With many acquisitions already completed in the industry, Toltzis was among the few medical agencies that had remained unaffiliated.

"Better late than never," said Mr. McGrath, who added that an Internet-focused agency specializing in healthcare might be a consideration down the road.

HELPING CLIENTS

Toltzis President Alan Toltzis said he was not actively looking for the agency, which will remain separate, to be purchased.

"We've talked to others in the past but they just wanted to expand their business," he said. "This arrangement will really help our clients."

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