Is Quintiles finally going public?

Those Quintiles IPO murmurs from last fall are ramping up again, but this time the rumors have teeth. Both Bloomberg and Reuters report that the CRO giant's private equity masters are actively interviewing banks to handle a Wall Street debut.

Bain Capital and TPG Capital, Quintiles' lead investors, have talked to JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and others, the news agencies report--citing anonymous sources, of course. The potential IPO could price north of $3 billion, analysts estimate, and Bloomberg's "people with knowledge of the matter" say we can expect the CRO to go public later this year.

None of the rumored parties is commenting on the reports, and Quintiles spokesman Phil Bridges gave the same response he used in September's IPO rumor flare-up: "Quintiles routinely evaluates its capital strategy, and it is our policy not to comment on these matters."

Quintiles' current owners bought it for $3.8 billion in 2008, but Quintiles has since expanded its global reach through acquisitions and partnerships, and the world's largest CRO pulled in $3.5 billion in the 12 months that ended in June, Bloomberg reports.

All that growth means Quintiles now employs 25,000 people across 60 countries, and, as the CRO continues to pad its revenue and snap up smaller companies, it's no surprise Bain and TPG figure that they can woo investors and cash out handsomely.

- read Bloomberg's story
- check out Reuters' take