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Mar 15, 2013

JLL Partners Combines BioClinica, CoreLab Partners

  • BioClinica was merged yesterday with CoreLab Partners by their acquirers, private-equity firm JLL Partners and its majority owner Ampersand Capital Partners, in a $123 million-plus deal intended to create a clinical trials powerhouse at a time when biopharmas are scrambling to replace blockbusters falling off the proverbial patent cliff.

    JLL Partners controls a holding company that on Tuesday completed a cash tender offer to purchase all of BioClinica’s common stock for $7.25 a share, or $123 million overall. The purchase price represented a premium of 23.2% over its average closing price for the 90 days ended January 29, and 28.7% over the average price for the 52-week period ended January 29, 2013, JLL Partners said when the deal was announced January 30.

    The value of the CoreLab acquisition, which was contingent on the BioClinical deal, has not been disclosed.

    The newly combined company, which will retain the BioClinica name, will be a private entity with about 900 employees, and no plans for layoffs, Mark L. Weinstein, president and CEO of the combined company, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    The combined company marries the management focus of its namesake predecessor with CoreLab’s medical imaging solutions and cardiac safety services for clinical trial sponsors. The new BioClinca said it will offer scientific and medical experience gleaned from the predecessor companies’ work on trials for a combined 50 FDA approved drugs—including 33 in oncology—and expertise in therapeutic areas where imaging is critical, such as oncology, neurology, musculoskeletal, and cardiology.

    Post-merger, BioClinica will maintain support operations in North America as well as China, Japan, Germany, The Netherlands, and France.

    The deal was completed some six weeks after BioClinica announced merger plans on January 30. At the time, the companies said they expected to complete the deal before the end of the first quarter.

    “The unification of BioClinica and CoreLab Partners will enhance the existing service quality and technological innovation supported by scientific and medical expertise that have long been hallmarks of these two companies,” Weinstein said in a statement. He held the same position with the old BioClinica, which traded its shares on NASDAQ and has said it carried out some 2,000 successful trials over 20 years.

    In its final quarterly results as a public company, released last month, old BioClinica said it finished the final three months of 2012 with a 0.6% dip in net income, to $1.158 million from $1.165 million in Q4 2011. For all of 2012, however, pre-merger BioClinica enjoyed a 33% jump in net income over 2011, to $3.7 million from about $2.8 million, on revenues that rose 17% to $98.3 million, up 17% from almost $84 million.

    “This merger produces a stronger BioClinica that is better able to support pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device development,” Weinstein added. 


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