Quintiles files IPO worth $600 million--or much more

Well, the rumors were true. Right on schedule, Quintiles has filed for an IPO, saying it wants to raise $600 million, but the final haul could be far higher.

The CRO giant isn't disclosing how many shares it will sell, their expected price or even the symbol under which it will trade. In its filing with the SEC, Quintiles listed the $600 million estimate solely to calculate its listing fee, and that placeholder could very well move upward; last year, Reuters estimated the company's equity value at about $2.77 billion

Quintiles is owned by a host of private equity giants, led by Bain Capital and TPG Capital, which bought the company for a reported $3.8 billion in 2008. Since then, Quintiles has used acquisitions and strategic investments to expand its share of the market, becoming the world's largest CRO with operations around the world and partnerships with all of the top-20 drugmakers, according to the company.

In 2012, Quintiles pulled in about $3.7 billion in revenue and $177.5 million in net income, according to the filing, and the CRO employs 25,000 people across 60 countries. And the company plans on further growth: With Big Pharma slashing R&D budgets and look to develop drugs as efficiently as possible, Quintiles sees a bright future for itself and its outsourcing services.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays are running the offering, and Quintiles says it will use the cash it raises to pay down long-term debt and fund general corporate expenses.

- here's the filing
- read Quintiles' statement