CRO Acquisition Trend Continues as Thermo Fisher Snaps Up PPD
The ranks of the top-earning CROs continued to shift last week as Thermo Fisher Scientific announced it will acquire PPD, one of the industry’s largest CROs, for $17.4 billion in cash plus the assumption of about $3.5 billion of net debt.
The deal is the latest to illustrate rising merger and acquisition activity in the CRO sector. In February, ICON announced plans to acquire PRA Health Sciences for $12 billion, making it the second-largest CRO in the world by annual revenue ($5 billion) after IQVIA ($11.4 billion) and moving PPD with its $4.7 billion in revenue from second place to third (CenterWatch Weekly, March 1, 2021).
PPD has more than 26,000 employees and operates in nearly 50 countries, while Thermo Fisher sells lab equipment and supplies to the pharma and biotech industries. PPD will become part of Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Products and Services segment.