CRO Deals Pile Up, and So Do the Multiples

CRO Deals Pile Up, and So Do the Multiples

After 34 announced transactions in 2017, the news that one contract research organization (CRO) bought another CRO is downright yawn-inducing. This space is undergoing rapid consolidation, no question. Before this week, those 34 deals had a combined total of approximately $20.9 billion. Add another deal, and another $950 million, and the market just got a tad smaller. Catalent, Inc. (NYSE: CTLT) announced the 35th deal in this sector on September 19. Its target, Indiana-based Cook Pharmica LLC, is a biologics-focused contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with capabilities across biologics development, clinical and commercial cell culture manufacturing, formulation,... Read More »

PE Firms Line Up for Pharmaceutical Targets

Although pharmaceutical M&A has declined sharply over the past year, there has been an uptick in financial buyer activity in the sector in the first eight months of 2017. We don’t typically see a lot of financial buyers in this space, since they are easily outbid by strategic buyers that have the advantage of easy access to capital and cost synergies. Also, private equity buyers have been flocking to acquire “healthcare-lite” targets, such as eHealth or contract research organizations, in the past 12 months, largely to avoid potential regulatory and reimbursement roadblocks that come with a new administration. Pharmaceutical M&A is down 65% (only 55 deals) compared with the 156... Read More »

PE Firms Team Up to Buy CROs

The contract research organization (CRO) industry continues to consolidate at a rapid pace in response to growing demand from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. But pharma and biotech serve as the customers in this industry, not the acquirers. Nearly all the buyers in 2017 are other CRO companies that are seeking scale. Private equity is also joining the party, accounting for the remaining portion of deals, including the largest disclosed deal this year. Last month, INC Research Holdings (NASDAQ: INCR) paid $4.6 billion for inVentiv Health, a CRO that also counts Advent International and Thomas H. Lee Partners as equal equity holders. The firms will retain their stakes following... Read More »

PE Firms Are Big on CROs

Private equity firms are taking big stakes in contract research organizations (CROs) in 2017. Through May 3, 12 CRO deals have been announced this year, up 140% from the same period last year, when only five deals were announced (these numbers do not include contract manufacturing organization deals). In late April, The Carlyle Group was rumored to be weighing the acquisition of Albany Molecular Research Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRI), a New York-based CRO. A week later, the private equity firm announced the sale of its majority stake in Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD), a global contract research organization that provides comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and life... Read More »

The Market for PBMs Slows in 2016

Magellan Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), a healthcare management company specializing in special populations and pharmacy benefits management, has just acquired privately held Veridicus Holdings, LLC. The sellers are Gauge Capital, company management and other unnamed backers. Based in Salt Lake City, Veridicus is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company that uses proprietary software to integrate pharmacy, medical and lab data to drive targeted interventions for complex patient populations. The $74.5 million deal gives Magellan access to Veridicus’ 225,000 members. Veridicus also owns and operates a fully licensed insurance company which serves members enrolled in the Medicare Part D... Read More »