Genstar Capital, a private equity group based in San Francisco, has completed its acquisition of PRA International, paying $797 million for the Raleigh, N.C.-based contract research organization (CRO).
During a conference call in July, PRA executives said that Genstar will invest in the company to accelerate plans for expanding the firm’s service offerings and broaden its geographic footprint.
In response to an analyst’s question during the call, Terrance Bieker, chief executive officer of PRA, stated its board of directors came to the conclusion that the right course of action was to provide its shareholders with an immediate premium on their investment.
“This decision is driven by value and reward, and it was determined that this is a right price for the shareholders. So, the decision for doing this is not so the company can perform better in a different venue, it was done because it is a very good return to the shareholders,” Bierker said.
Shareholders will receive a cash buyout of $30.50 per common share. That would be a 24% premium over PRA’s average closing price for three months prior to the July announcement.
Genstar was an early investor in PRA and already owned 12.8% of the company. In June 2001, PRA’s executive management team completed a buyout of the company, partly with financial backing from Genstar. The company went public in November 2004.