Kester Capital, the European private equity arm of Greenhill & Co., has sold its interest in Chiltern in a deal valuing the company at $223.4 million. The exit comes as Chiltern announces the consolidation of existing investors, led by Sir Douglas Myers. The transaction has generated a return of over two times capital and a 25% IRR for Kester Capital funds.
Chiltern is a global CRO with experience in the management of phase I-IV clinical trials and has conducted trials in over 40 countries. The company employs more than 1,600. Chiltern said the consolidated investor base enables it to continue to deliver on its strategic plan for growth, while maintaining its focus on innovative clinical trial services and therapeutic experience.
Chiltern also said the new ownership structure offers greater access to new investment to further its development, providing Chiltern the means to expand and develop within key target markets, both organically and through investment in people, technology and client relationships, as well as external opportunities to optimize Chiltern’s mid-tier leadership position through carefully targeted acquisitions.
The global CRO market is expected to show continued growth as the pharmaceutical industry responds to significant sector challenges. These include the growing pressure to increase R&D productivity, the rising cost and complexity of clinical trials, increasing regulatory hurdles and a desire to shift fixed to variable cost. These industry drivers represent a significant opportunity for Chiltern, the company said.