FUNDS managed by KKR & Co will buy clinical research group PRA International from Genstar Capital for an undisclosed amount, PRA said yesterday, underscoring growing private equity interest in the contract research industry.
Sources familiar with the matter had previously indicated that PRA could be worth as much as $1.3bn.
The deal comes at a time when research service firms are either being snapped up by private equity firms or are being taken public.
Genstar bought PRA in 2007 for $797m and put it on the block earlier this year after failing to sell it in 2011.
Warburg Pincus and Cinven were also in the running to buy the company, the sources had said.
PRA provides clinical trial services and other research for pharmaceutical companies in more than 80 countries to help them win regulatory approval for drugs.
In May, Bain Capital and TPG Capital completed an initial public offering of shares in Quintiles Transnational Holdings, the world’s largest provider of contract research services, raising $947m.
Jefferies was financial adviser to PRA and Latham & Watkins was legal adviser. Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo were financial advisers to KKR, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was legal adviser.
City A.M. Reporter