Data collection firm ERT is changing private equity hands

Four years after leaving the Nasdaq to go private, patient data specialist ERT is again being sold as private equity owner Genstar Capital prepares to ship the company over to Nordic Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Each party expects the deal to close in the second quarter of this year, ending a relationship that began in 2012 when Genstar took ERT private in a $400 million buyout.

In the years since, ERT has built up its library of safety tests and outcome assessments for clinical trials, acquiring invivodata, eClinical Insights and PHT in the process. ERT inked a major partnership with CRO giant PPD in 2014 to co-market its services.

"ERT was a strong company when we acquired it, yet to make it even stronger we built upon its robust internal software and data capabilities and successfully completed three transformative acquisitions," Genstar's Roman Margolin said in a statement. "... Combined with meaningful growth initiatives developed in concert with Jim and his management team, sales for ERT were dramatically enhanced and the company is extremely well positioned to continue as a trusted partner to a diverse customer base of top pharma and biotech companies and major CROs."

Genstar executed a similar plan with PRA Health Sciences ($PRA), which it acquired for about $800 million in 2007 and sold to KKR ($KKR) for $1.3 billion 5 years later. KKR later merged the CRO with ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and CRI Lifetree, taking the combined company public in 2014.

- read the statement

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