Genstar Capital, a middle market private equity firm focusing on investments in select segments of the life sciences, healthcare, financial services, software and industrial technology industries, has announced a definitive agreement to sell global CRO PRA to funds managed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Genstar acquired PRA in a take-private transaction in 2007 for $797 million. Since then, working with newly appointed CEO Colin Shannon and a new senior management team, Genstar invested in PRA and completed key strategic addon acquisitions, strengthened the company’s European operations, enhanced its technology and developed its infrastructure to support continued expansion in emerging markets. As a result, the company generated significant revenue and EBITDA growth and continues to attract new business for its full spectrum of services.
Colin Shannon, president and CEO of PRA, said, “The Genstar team has extensive experience building businesses in the life sciences industry and with their help we have grown PRA into a first class global CRO. Their support enabled us to better serve our clients in the U.S. and internationally. Targeted investments, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia, expanded our geographic coverage and, as a result of this strong infrastructure, we have a growing list of new business opportunities. We have been very fortunate with our partnership with Genstar and believe our company is positioned for continued growth as a KKR portfolio company.”
Jean-Pierre L. Conte, chairman and managing director of Genstar Capital, said, “In 2007 we were attracted by the growth opportunities that existed within the CRO industry and particularly with PRA, where we believed our leadership team under Colin Shannon could accelerate growth and profitability initiatives to successfully drive change at PRA and build the company on a sustained basis. This is an excellent outcome for our investors, PRA and their clients and, importantly, the company continues to have a strong partner in KKR. The PRA leadership team under Colin Shannon has delivered over 100% of what they committed to through a tough economic period. Genstar is proud to have been a part of building this company and working with such a capable leadership team.”
Rob Weltman, a Genstar managing director, said, “PRA has developed a niche in an attractive growing sector of the pharma services industry and is transforming clinical trials because of its people, innovation and transparency with customers. During our involvement with PRA, the company consistently grew revenues and profitability and delivered strong service to its customers across the globe.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.
PRA International, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., has over 5,300 employees offering services in more than 80 countries. The company's services include filing Investigational New Drug and similar regulatory applications, management and implementation of phase I through IV clinical trials, preparation and submission of New Drug Applications and post-marketing surveillance on an international basis.