INC snags Kendle's global CRO operations for $232M in cash

Determined to vault into the top tier of the global CRO business, INC Research has struck a deal to buy out Kendle ($KNDL) for $232 million in cash. The deal gives INC global Phase I-IV operations involving 3,000 associates in 31 countries.

The buyout--at $15.25 a share--creates a much larger clinical trial operation, which will position INC to compete for a bigger slate of clinical trials at a time the pharma industry has been restructuring pipeline operations and pushing outsourcing development wherever it can. The deal also marks further consolidation of a large field of CROs, a trend that is likely to continue for some time.

Analysts in the industry largely applauded the deal. David Windley at Jeffries & Co. noted that the expansion makes INC a rival to Covance at the Phase II-IV level. And Eric Coldwell at RW Baird focused on Kendle's awkward position in the market. "Kendle [has been] too big to focus on niche offerings, not large enough to fully participate in global strategic alliances, and relatively undifferentiated in the market", said Coldwell, according to a report in Outsourcing-Pharma.

"The combination of INC Research and Kendle will enable us to deliver broader capabilities and reach a critical mass for the emerging drug development outsourcing and alliance partnership models," said James Ogle, CEO of INC Research. "Together, we bring complementary strengths and expand the breadth and depth of services and expertise that are most valuable to our customers."

- here's the INC release
- read the story from Outsourcing-Pharma