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UK – UniversalProcon and WorldEvents to Merge

The merger will create what is believed to be the largest global event management business specialising in serving the healthcare sector. The combined turnover of the company, to be known as Universal WorldEvents, will be close to £100m. It will have 250 employees located in offices in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, US, Hong Kong and Singapore. In the previous 12 months the companies managed over 1100 meetings and events in over 45 countries.

Clients will benefit from the increased global reach of the new merged business – which although operating internationally, will offer local knowledge and deliver a personal service right across the globe. The objective will be to expand the global footprint further – only last week it was announced in Italy that WorldEvents has opened an office in Rome. 
Universal WorldEvents will develop the services currently offered by each business – including venue finding and travel.

The business will be backed by the financial might and wider healthcare experience of United Drug, with Universal WorldEvents sitting amongst an array of complementary businesses forming United Drug’s Sales, Marketing and Medical Services (SMMS) Division, all offering bespoke services to the healthcare sector.

WorldEvents.jpgAs a result of the merger there will be a duplication of roles in certain service department areas of the businesses and the companies have entered a consultation period with those staff involved. Commenting on the situation Graham McIntosh, Managing Director of UniversalProcon said, ‘There are a number of vacancies across both businesses as a result of new business wins and, where possible, these positions will be filled internally to minimise the incidence of redundancies.’ McIntosh went on to emphasise, ‘There will be no changes whatsoever, as a result of this process, to any of the client facing event teams on either side of the business.’

The company will operate in the UK out of offices in Cleckheaton, Ashby de la Zouch and London. The two companies teamed up mid-way through 2010 to contend for a major global healthcare opportunity and got to know each other well during the process. Martin Parry, CEO of WorldEvents commented, ‘Very quickly it became apparent that from a cultural and values perspective there were tremendous similarities between our businesses.’ Parry added, ‘We knew we were on the right track when the client commented that the alliance, as it was then, was a highly imaginative initiative and one that was bound to be extremely well received by the pharmaceutical industry at large. We won the business which has got the relationship off to a great start.’

It has been agreed jointly by both Boards that Graham McIntosh will become Managing Director of Universal WorldEvents. Martin Parry will remain on the Board and retain key client relationships as well as having strategic project responsibilities, at a United Drug Divisional level, reporting into SMMS Managing Director, Chris Corbin.  Other key positions that have been announced to date are that Mark Saxby will be Sales & Marketing Director, Andrew Winterburn, European Director and Jeremy Wilson, Finance Director.