CRO Chiltern, valued at $1.3B, could be up for sale: Reuters

U.K.-based CRO Chiltern is rumored to have hired investment bank Jefferies to orchestrate a sale in a deal that could value it at around $1.3 billion.

U.K.-based CRO Chiltern has put itself up for sale as it continues the bullish M&A run for contract research groups that has seen a host of deals, JVs and mergers over the last 2 years.

This is according to Reuters, citing anonymous “people familiar with the matter,” who say that the company has hired investment bank Jefferies to orchestrate a sale in a deal that could value it at around $1.3 billion.

According to the newswire, “The sale process is in the early stages and will attract interest from private equity firms.” The company has not commented on the report. 

Midsize CRO Chiltern has been beefing itself up over the years and back in 2015 bought up Theorem Clinical Research in a move to strengthen its global presence. This comes amid a boom in CRO and biopharma services deals over the past two years, with the biggest coming last October, when the world’s largest CRO and one of the biggest healthcare data and consulting firms combined to become one major $19 billion, 50,000-strong company, now known as QuintilesIMS.

And back in February of this year, acquisitive medical testing company LabCorp was also said to be prepared to spend $8 billion on one of the largest CROs in the world, PPD, hot on the heels of it buying up New Jersey-headquartered Covance in 2015 in a deal worth just over $6 billion. This rumor again came from Reuters.

And over the past 6 months, in an unprecedented move, Japanese pharma Takeda has forged a new joint venture with PRA Health to help run much of its R&D amid a major rejigging of its research ops.