CRO braves the public market, files for $100M IPO

Fort Washington, PA-based ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services is braving the rough waters at Nasdaq, filing an IPO designed to raise $100 million. The CRO reports that it garnered $224 million in revenue last year, an increase from the $175 million in grossed in 2008. Last year's net income, though, was only $2.6 million.

Cartesian Capital, The Argentum Group and First Analysis have all backed the CRO, which didn't outline either the number of shares it plans to offer or the expected price range. Jefferies & Co, William Blair & Co and Lazard Capital Markets are underwriting the IPO and the company plans to trade under the RPSE symbol.

RPS has been growing through acquisitions. The CRO bought Beijing-based Paramax in 2009, which followed the acquisition of three European CROs in 2008.

While the J.P. Morgan biotech confab started the year off with plenty of upbeat expectations about a newly-opened IPO window, offerings have been problematic this year. Analyst Steven Burrill recently noted that only one biotech, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, had managed to keep its share price ahead of the IPO price in May. Another seven biotech offerings had slipped 10 percent to 20 percent below the IPO price.

- here's the report from RTT News