Ventiv to Buy Marketing Firm

The deal is valued at $185 million.
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Ventiv Health

(VTIV)

agreed to buy InChord Communications, a provider of advertising and public relations services to health care companies, for $185 million.

Ventiv will acquire InChord, based in Westerville, Ohio, for cash and stock, plus future payments if the company exceeds specific financial targets. The company expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter.

The acquisition should immediately add to Ventiv's earnings, contributing 3 cents to 4 cents a share to its fourth-quarter profit.

As a result of the acquisition, Somerset, N.J.-based Ventiv lifted its 2005 revenue guidance to a range of $505 million to $515 million and its earnings forecast to $1.25 to $1.29 a share.

The provider of clinical, sales and marketing services to pharmaceutical companies also offered 2006 revenue guidance of $610 million to $630 million and an earnings projection of $1.45 to $1.50 a share.

Shares of Ventiv were up 90 cents, or 4%, to $23.40 in trading before the opening bell Wednesday.