Layoff Plans Changed; 199 Ricerca Biosciences CRO Jobs Saved
Published: Nov 19, 2014
November 18, 2014
By Jessica Wilson, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Ricerca Biosciences, LLC today announced that it has been acquired by Main Market Partners, LLC, a middle-market growth investment fund. Concord, Ohio-based Ricera, which in August alerted the state of Ohio that it might be forced to lay off its 199-person work force, has been searching for a buyer for months and has entertained several offers.
Ricera chose to accept Ohio-based Main Market’s offer because, according to a statement from Ricera, Main Market promised, “a strategic commitment to the company's [Ricera’s] clients, employees, and external stakeholders, and an aggressive timetable for closing the transaction.” Terms of the deal have not been released.
Ricera, a contract research organization (CRO), sent a letter to the state of Ohio on Aug. 29 indicating that the layoffs would happen between Oct. 27 and Nov. 10 of this year. Legally, a company in Ohio must notify the state 60 days before it executes a layoff of more than 50 people. At the time the letter was sent, then-CEO of Ricera, Tim Derrington, told Outsourcing-pharma.com that the layoffs would occur if “ongoing discussions with several parties” did not result in an acquisition.
With the acquisition by Main Market, however, the layoff situation as changed. Ricera CEO Clifford Croley was quoted as saying in the same article, “The 199 jobs will be retained.” Croley added, “There may be some adjustment as we bring in additional staff or upgrade capabilities.”
Michael Martell, executive vice president of Ricera, also addressed staff additions. “Initial enhancements at Ricerca will include a revitalized leadership team, including key members of the company's existing staff, and enhanced capital support to approach the marketplace with an aggressive and direct effort,” Martell was quoted as saying in a statement.
Before becoming Ricera’s new CEO, Croley, a partner in Croley, Martell & Associates, had been acting as Ricera’s chief restructuring officer. Croley was quoted as saying in an article by Chuck Soder of Crain’s Cleveland Business, “We are greatly impressed with Ricerca's excellent scientific track record.” He added that, “This acquisition represents our strong commitment to continue Ricerca's solid scientific project research in the drug safety, chemical development and agrochemical market segments. 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.”
According to Soder, one reason Ricera has been suffering in this market is because pharmaceutical companies have not been spending as much money on drug development, which is a primary service Ricera provides.