Publishing giant for health information WebMD has announced that it is taking over Jim.fr, a French-language medical news and information website aimed at healthcare professionals (HCPs). The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Founded in 1979 as the Journal International de Medecine (JIM) by a young hospital intern named Dr. Gilles Haroche, Paris-based Jim.fr collects and presents a variety of news, reports and studies from the medical world, including new developments and treatments, opinion pieces, analysis, and profiles of key figures from the global health sector.
Jim.fr became an online-only publication in 1999 and today has some 350,000 subscribers, while Dr. Haroche remains the editor-in-chief more than 40 years after its founding.
WebMD, for its part, was founded in 1996 in the US and has grown into a leading information provider for health, medicine and wellness, 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 has expanded its geographic and linguistic footprint into numerous markets in the US and beyond by acquiring smaller local rivals, including MediQuality from the Benelux. back in 2018; German Coliquio in 2020; and the British MGP just last year.
So acquisitions have historically played an important role in WebMD’s global and vertical expansion, and it’s a strategy the company is clearly pursuing as it expands deeper into the French market where it already has a presence.
While WebMD will be a well-known brand to just about anyone who has searched for information about diseases and conditions online, the publication is aimed at a wide audience in the consumer and professional spheres. This includes HCPs, through its Medscape property that it acquired for $10 million around the turn of the century, and which already has a French-language edition that claims to reach 5 million doctors worldwide. Jim.fr essentially amplifies WebMD’s existing reach and competencies for that market.
“Both Jim.fr and Medscape have the trust and commitment of hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals in France,” noted Jeremy Schneider, general manager of the WebMD Global group, in a statement. press release. “This transaction will allow us to use our combined assets to further enhance Medscape’s offerings for French-speaking and French-speaking professionals while delivering innovative solutions to customers.”
Following the acquisition, Jim.fr will operate as a subsidiary of Mescape, with plans to integrate services from across their respective platforms.