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Chiltern International Ltd. Explores Sale Valued at $1.3 Billion

4/14/2017 6:13:15 AM

Chiltern Explores Sale Valued at $1.3 Billion April 14, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

UK-based Chiltern International, a contract research organization (CRO), is reportedly up for sale. The company has hired investment firm Jefferies to investigate a potential sale valued around $1.3 billion.

Chiltern’s key areas including early phase and global development in oncology, dermatology, neuroscience, endocrine & metabolic, ophthalmology, gastroenterology and respiratory. The company has more than 4,300 sites across 47 countries, providing comprehensive clinical development, medical and scientific affairs, data and analysis, pharmacovigilance and strategic regulatory services.

The company’s annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is approximately $90 million. On April 3, 2017, Chiltern was ranked in the top three in the 2017 CenterWatch Global Investigative Site Survey. The survey questions principal investigators and study coordinators, asking them to rate the CROs they have worked with in the past two years in six specific categories. Chiltern ranked highly in open communication, timely drug availability, and out of the 37 topics measured, ranked in the top three out of 17 of them.

“We view our sites as an integral partner,” said Jim Esinhart, Chiltern’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Without them, neither we nor our clients can be successful. With that as our foundation, we are interested in how sites view us when working together… We work hard to try to design our processes around the needs of the site.”

At this point, sources for Reuters say, “The sale process is in the early stages and will attract interest from private equity firms.”

Over the last two years, there has been a fair amount of merger-and-acquisition activity in the CRO space. In October 2016, CRO Quintiles merged with IMS Health (IMS) to become QuintilesIMS (Q). The combined companies would have annual revenues of about $7.2 billion, and a combined equity market cap of about $19 billion.
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“The new company will combine extensive healthcare information, technology and services solutions to drive efficiencies across the entire life science product cycle from R&D through commercial operations,” Phil Bridges, senior director, Corporation Communications at Quintiles, told Outsourcing-Pharma at the time.

And Laboratory Corporation of American (LabCorp) (LH), the largest clinical lab company in the U.S. and possibly the world, acquired CRO Covance (CVD) for about $6 billion in 2015, and is reportedly interested in acquiring another CRO, North Carolina-based PPD.

Recently, Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda (TKPYY) integrated PRA Health into its research business, expanding an earlier cooperative into a joint venture. In September 2016, Takeda shifted hundreds of staffers to PRA Health with the goal of taking control of its U.S. and European operations.

FierceBiotech wrote, “The first part of this deal saw the Raleigh, North Carolina-based CRO take the lead on Takeda’s marketed products, clinical development and postapproval needs, and also saw PRA manage an entire pipeline of studies for Takeda, across all phases of human development and after approval, while also providing regulatory, drug safety and other operational services for both development and marketed product portfolios.”

The new joint venture, announced February 15, 2017, has each company holding half of the shares, with the goal of providing clinical trial activities as a strategic partner of Takeda in Japan. In addition, Takeda transferred all the shares of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceutical Data Services (TDS) to PRA.

This echoed the merger of Quintiles and IMS Health. IMS is a healthcare information and technology company focused on healthcare and prescription data.

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