Transactions

February 2019
New York
has received a $61mm investment from
Boston, MA


Background

SERMO is the largest social network for doctors and offers a platform for doctors to discuss cases, conduct market research and rate prescription drugs, and is fueling the medical crowdsourcing movement within the healthcare industry. The platform enables doctors to inquire with other certified and credentialed healthcare professionals to ask each other real-life questions, gather advice and obtain second opinions about diagnoses. SERMO’s platform allows healthcare professionals to conduct anonymous peer-to-peer collaboration and discussions to help better serve the global healthcare practitioner community. SERMO has over 800,000 verified and credentialed physicians actively engaged on the platform across 150 countries.



SERMO hired M&A to assist in refinancing the Company’s senior secured lending facility and recapitalize certain other preferred equity shareholders. M&A is intimately familiar with the healthcare IT and market research space, having completed multiple transactions involving both healthcare IT and the broader market research space. After a number of transactions in the space, M&A was able to articulate the strong value proposition of SERMO’s solutions and position the company in front of the most interested parties active in the space.

Following a thorough review of potential options, SERMO decided to accept a recapitalization offer from ABRY Partners whereby ABRY Partners would eliminate SERMO’s senior secured debt holders as well as certain other preferred equity shareholder.

SEMRO plans to utilize this new source of funding to expand upon both organic and acquisitive growth opportunities.

Marlin & Associates served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to SERMO on a complex restructuring. M&A led the preparation of detailed transaction marketing materials, conducted discussions with potentially interested parties, facilitated information exchange, advised on the negotiation and evaluation of alternative offers, managed preliminary and confirmatory due diligence reviews, and coordinated the preparation of final legal documents.

Peter Kirk, SERMO’s CEO, said: "The Marlin & Associates team was instrumental in completing this transaction. Their understanding of the market, commitment to the process, professionalism, deal expertise and execution capabilities directly resulted in a successful outcome that will allow us to accelerate the innovation and adoption of the SERMO platform globally.”

Rob Nicewicz, a Principal with Abry Partners, said: “The Marlin & Associates team expertly navigated the SERMO transaction on behalf of the Company.”

Marlin & Associates Advises Sermo on Significant Investment from Abry Partners

February 13, 2019

Sermo Announces Significant Investment from Abry Partners

Partnership accelerates innovation and adoption for data collection powerhouse and social platform for 800,000+ physicians globally

 

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sermo, the leading global social platform for physicians and largest healthcare professional survey company, announced today that it has completed a recapitalization with Abry Partners (“Abry”), a leading Boston-based private equity firm. The investment will allow the company to significantly accelerate its growth strategy, including the upcoming launch of a new member experience that will drive impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussion amongst member physicians as well as enhanced automation and tooling for the healthcare market research industry.

“Sermo’s strong revenue growth and increase in users speaks to how they’re setting a new and improved standard for real-time medical collaboration and insights, and we look forward to supporting their continued innovation.”

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“Sermo is committed to transforming traditional methods of physician collaboration and healthcare data collection to meet the needs of today’s fast paced healthcare ecosystems. Using a tech-first approach, we’ve led Sermo to double-digit growth and transformed the company from a services provider to a solutions platform,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo. “This milestone with Abry recognizes the continued support from both the financial community as well as our longstanding customers to continue our mission to connect the global medical community with industry partners to foster innovation through meaningful insights and data. With a new leadership team and board of directors, backed by our unique global platform, we look forward to a successful future.”

Sermo is the most trusted global platform for physicians with over 800,000 members, representing over 90 specialties and subspecialties in over 150 countries. In 2012, Sermo merged with WorldOne, a leader in healthcare market research, to form the world’s first global medical social platform with a tech-first approach to market research ahead of the digital health revolution.

Sermo clients can expect to see new product launches, differentiated technologies, physician membership growth in key specialty areas, as well as an even greater focus on client-centricity as a result of this investment.

“We’re excited to partner with Sermo as they continue to empower the healthcare industry with the tools needed to digitally collaborate with peers and improve patient outcomes,” said John Hunt, Managing Partner at Abry. “Sermo’s strong revenue growth and increase in users speaks to how they’re setting a new and improved standard for real-time medical collaboration and insights, and we look forward to supporting their continued innovation.”

Sermo will join Abry's portfolio of investments in leading companies focused on healthcare IT services, insurance services, and business and information services. Prior healthcare investments include Executive Health Resources, Healthport, HealthTrans and U.S. Dermatology Partners.

Marlin & Associates acted as exclusive financial advisor and Taylor Wessing acted as legal advisor to Sermo. Ernst & Young (“EY”) and Chestnut Hill Partners acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Abry.

About Sermo
Sermo is a global social platform for physicians that fosters impactful peer-to-peer collaboration & discussions through meaningful insights, data, and trends. It is the most trusted global platform for physicians with over 800,000 fully verified and licensed physicians across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and earn honorarium from surveys. Through Sermo’s unique community, pharmaceutical and healthcare partners can drive physician awareness and gain deep understanding of brand perceptions to benefit the medical community at large. To learn more, visit www.sermo.com.

About Abry Partners
Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since their founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $80 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5.0 billion of capital across their active funds. For more information about Abry, visit the firm’s website at: www.abry.com.

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