Wilmington plc has reached an agreement to acquire HSJ from Ascential plc, its owner since 1997.

The acquisition adds further strength to the existing Wilmington healthcare businesses, and is intended to help the combined group provide enhanced services for the NHS and its partners through subscription information and analytics products, events, awards, education, and marketing solutions.

Wilmington Healthcare’s portfolio includes Binley’s, NHiS, OnMedica and Wellards.

The existing HSJ team, led by managing director Andy Baker and editor Alastair McLellan, will remain with the business.

Wilmington Healthcare managing director Gareth Thomas said: “HSJ is a primary source of critical information and insight to senior management and decision makers in the NHS and the wider healthcare sector. Our much strengthened position will be of significant benefit to clients of both Wilmington Healthcare and HSJ, and it presents many new opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, for a growing sector and one that faces unique pressures, we are now able to provide even more powerful, market-leading insight.”

Mr Baker said: “HSJ is highly respected for the quality of its content and its journalism and the acquisition will further support Wilmington’s market leading content acquisition and analysis. It’s incredibly exciting for HSJ to be joining a business as committed to healthcare as Wilmington and I think it bodes extremely well for HSJ’s subscribers and customers.”

Mr McLellan said: “NHS providers and commissioners, as well as their partners supplying goods and services, need to be armed with the insight and data crucial to the delivery of cost effective care. We will deliver that critical analysis and, in collaboration with Wilmington’s existing healthcare businesses, we can grow HSJ’s offer to make an even greater contribution to aiding the improvement of health and social care outcomes.”