Contract research organizations (CROs) are changing hands again, all over the world. Since 2010, we’ve recorded 63 transactions in total, with six announced in 2016 already. That’s a strong showing compared with five CRO deals for all of 2015, but not nearly on pace to surpass the 19 deals posted in 2014.

Total combined spending, based on the 14 deals with prices disclosed, was $6.5 billion. The largest by far, at $3.9 billion, was for Pharmaceutical Product Development, acquired by then-privately held The Carlyle Group (now NASDAQ: CG). A majority of the deals (63%) were made by other CROs, compared with 16% by private equity firms, the second largest acquirer category.

YearTotal DealsTotal Dollars Spent
20155$1.8 million
201419$1.28 billion
201312$146.5 million
20118$4.3 billion
20109$816 million
Source:, May 2016