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Healthcare Agencies Mergers and Acquisitions

Havas acquires Australia’s biggest health agency Bastion


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

November 16, 2022 | 4 min read

French agency group Havas will merge Bastion into its health network in Asia Pacific.

surgeon wearing a mask

A still from one of Bastion’s recent ads for surgical equipment / Bastion Brands

Australia’s largest indie health agency, Bastion Brands, has been acquired by French holding company Havas Group.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Bastion will be rolled into the wider Havas Health & You network under the leadership of Asia Pacific and Latin America chief executive Charles Houdoux. The combined business will have a staff of over 250 in Australia.

Founded in 2012, Bastion’s clients include pharmaceutical firms AstraZeneca, Gilead and Pfizer, as well as healthcare providers such as Abbot.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and chief executive officer of Havas Group, said: “Bastion Brands is recognized for delivering significant and meaningful results for its strong client base of leading pharmaceutical companies across the world. Adding its capabilities to our global Havas Health & You network will provide specialized health communications for both that region and our clients globally.

“Bastion Brands also complements fast growth within our health PR business Red Havas in Australia, and we’re thrilled to officially welcome the Bastion Brands team to our group.”

simon davies of bastion

Specialist health marketing has been a significant growth area for many agency groups over the last two years. Havas Health & You recorded 20% organic revenue growth in 2021, a performance that led to network boss Donna Murphy taking over leadership of its global creative agency networks earlier this year.

“The strength and momentum within Havas Health & You will help us accelerate our strong growth in Australia,” said Simon Davies, founder and chief executive of Bastion Brands (pictured above). “Now with access to and support from the Havas network, we will be able to offer deeper and broader services to clients, globally developed insights and specialized health products, and even more exciting learning and growth opportunities for our staff.”

The acquisition builds on an earlier strategic partnership struck between the two companies. Houdoux said that “this more formal relationship is a natural progression and I know it will be a successful one – for our clients, for Bastion Brands and for Havas Health & You.

“Bastion Brands is a perfect fit for our expansion in Australia and Asia Pacific – a region where our clients have many strategic opportunities. We have partnered with Simon Davies and his team on meaningful, high-profile client assignments for several years, and have built a strong and effective relationship to deliver outstanding outcomes.”

Healthcare Agencies Mergers and Acquisitions

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