CRO Ricerca stays alive after buyer swoops in

Ohio-headquartered CRO Ricerca Biosciences can put off its liquidation plans, as the company has found an acquirer to keep its doors open just ahead of a self-imposed deadline.

Local investment firm Main Market Partners has agreed to buy Ricerca for an undisclosed sum, the company said, the result of "a thorough process to evaluate strategic acquisition offers." In August, Ricerca set a November deadline for a transaction, warning that failure to find a buyer would force it to close up shop and lay off its roughly 200 employees.

In the end, Main Market won out for its "strategic commitment to the company's clients, employees, and external stakeholders," Ricerca said, adding, of course, "an aggressive timetable for closing the transaction."

The company, founded in 1986, splits its business between early- and mid-stage drug development and agrochemicals. Ricerca has been gradually paring down its operations to better focus on its Ohio headquarters, last year selling off a French R&D site to WIL Research and transferring 250 employees in the process.

Now, with a parent company in place, the CRO says it's poised to return to growth.

"This acquisition represents our strong commitment to continue Ricerca's solid scientific project research in the drug safety, chemical development and agrochemical market segments," CEO Clifford Croley said in a statement. "We intend on introducing an aggressive growth strategy for the Ricerca business while at the same time enhancing the technical service offering of the company."

That strategy will include additions to Ricerca's leadership team and capital investments designed to make the CRO more competitive, the company said.

- read the statement

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