Pamplona Capital Management LLP, a New York-based private equity firm, has been on the hunt for a contract research organization (CRO) for the past year. According to a report from Reuters, it made an unsuccessful bid earlier this year for Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC, a U.S. clinical trials firm valued at more than $9 billion.
On June 20, 2017, Pamplona bagged a different target. The firm announced its acquisition of PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXL) in a going-private transaction.
According to other reports, Parexel’s advisers initially accepted PE firm offers, but later opened up the auction to industry players as well. Pamplona outbid rivals including Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE: LH) and Icon plc (NASDAQ: ICLR).
Pamplona paid $88.10 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $5.2 billion, including PAREXEL’s net debt. The purchase price represents a 27.9% premium to PAREXEL’s unaffected closing stock price on May 5, 2017. The price works out to 14.59x EBITDA and 2.3x revenue.
PAREXEL provides clinical research and logistics, medical communications, consulting, commercialization, and advanced technology products and services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries worldwide.
This deal marks the fifth CRO acquisition by a private equity firm this year, and the third PE buyout that surpassed the $1 billion mark.