Acquisitive LabCorp in $8B PPD play: Reuters

PPD has been said to be seeking an $8 billion sale for more than a year.

Medical testing company LabCorp is prepared to spend $8 billion on one of the largest CROs in the world, coming hot on the heels of it buying up New Jersey-headquartered Covance in an acquisition worth just over $6 billion in 2015.

This is according to a report from Reuters, quoting anonymous people “familiar with the matter,” who added that LabCorp “was just one of the parties participating in an auction” for North Carolina-based PPD.

The private company has also seen interest from buyout firms, the people said. This comes nearly a year after reports from Bloomberg said that LabCorp had been seeking to acquire another major CRO in the form of INC Research, which changed CEOs last year.

Rumors about a PPD sale have been in the pipe for more than a year, with the $8 billion price tag and desire to be sold being reported by Reuters in December 2015. Just before Christmas, the WSJ also said the CRO was still looking for a deal using that ballpark figure. The CRO is not commenting on the reports. 

This comes amid a flurry of CRO M&As in 2016, with the biggest being the marriage of IMS and Quintiles, making a major hybrid $18 billion company with expanded offerings to biopharma.