Health information publishing giant WebMD announced that it’s acquiring Jim.fr, a French-language medical news and information website aimed at healthcare professionals (HCPs). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 1979 as the Journal International de Médecine (JIM) by a hospital intern called Dr. Gilles Haroche, Paris-based Jim.fr collates and presents all manner of news, reports and studies from the world of medicine, including new developments and treatments, op-eds, analysis and profiles of key people from the global health sphere.
Jim.fr became an online-only publication in 1999, and today it reaches some 350,000 subscribers, while Dr. Haroche remains the editorial director more than 40 years afters its inception.
WebMD, for its part, was founded in the U.S. in 1996 and has gone on to become a leading information provider for health, medicine and well-being, with some 130 million monthly visits. WebMD itself was acquired by KKR’s Internet Brands for $2.8 billion five years ago, and in the intervening years it has expanded its geographic and linguistic footprint into numerous markets in the U.S. and beyond by acquiring smaller local rivals, including Benelux’s MediQuality back in 2018; Germany’s Coliquio in 2020; and the U.K.’s MGP just last year.
So acquisitions have played a major role in WebMD’s global and vertical expansion historically, and it’s a strategy the company is clearly continuing with as it expands deeper into the French market where it already has a presence.
While WebMD will be a familiar brand to just about anyone who has searched online for information on illnesses and ailments, the publication targets a broad audience across the consumer and professional spheres. This includes HCPs, through its Medscape property which it acquired for $10 million at the turn of the century, and which already has a French-language edition that claims to reach 5 million physicians globally. Jim.fr essentially bolsters WebMD’s existing reach and competencies for that market.
“Both Jim.fr and Medscape have the trust and engagement of hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals in France,” WebMD Global’s group general manager Jeremy Schneider noted in a press release. “Through this transaction, we can leverage our combined assets to further strengthen Medscape’s offering for French and French-speaking professionals, while delivering innovative solutions to customers.”
Post-acquisition, Jim.fr will operate as a subsidiary of Medscape, with plans to integrate services from across their respective platforms.