Leonard Green & Partners, L.P won the auction to acquire WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) from Arsenal Capital Partners for $3 billion. The purchase value was originally reported in PE Hub Buyouts.
WCG is a clinical services organization that enables biopharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations and institutions to accelerate the delivery of new treatments and therapies to patients. Arsenal will retain a stake in WCG. It acquired the company in March 2012 and led its recapitalization in August 2016 alongside other investors, including MSD Partners, the family office of Michael Dell. WCG has an estimated EBITDA of $175 million for 2019.
WCG has been relatively quiet on the acquisition front since 2017, according to our Deal Search Online database. That year it purchased two CROs and ThreeWire, Inc. The latter provides customized clinical trial recruitment, enrollment, and retention services for pharmaceutical, medical device, contract research organization, and biotech industries in the United States and internationally. Later that year, it bought Patient Genesis’ ConsentNow eConsent technology, a digital health target. ConsentNow enables healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies to share important information with patients during the informed consent process. It helped WCG improve the quality of patient education and the consistency of trial communications, while also assisting with regulatory compliance.
This deal follows a recent story from our newsletter on the busy market for CROs in October. Those targets accounted for roughly 19% of the activity in the Other Services sector. In the first week of November, BioAgilytix Labs, LLC, a portfolio company of Riverside Partners, purchased Cambridge Biomedical for an undisclosed amount. Hopefully we’ll see more deals pop up before the close of the year.