Global CRO claims financial muscle of new owner will facilitate growth and expansion.

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus will buy CRO ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services (RPS) for $227.3 million in cash. The $6.10 per share deal has been unanimously approved by the RPS board of directors but is still subject to antitrust clearance and shareholder approval.

Once acquired, the firm, which will continue to be led by its existing management team, will benefit from the financial muscle of its new partner, which is expected to allow it to look for growth opportunities through the development of enhanced service offerings and a greater international presence.

“In Warburg Pincus we have found a partner with both the financial strength and relevant industry experience to enable us to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy,” notes Daniel M. Perlman, RPS chairman and CEO.

RPS offers comprehensive Phase I–IV development solutions to the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostic industries. The firm claims its business model combines the expertise of a traditional CRO with the ability to provide flexible outsourcing solutions designed to meet the varied needs of small, medium, and large biopharmaceutical companies.

“The company’s unique integrated outsourcing model has attracted many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as customers by delivering cost savings and enhanced flexibility while allowing customers to maintain control of their clinical trials,” remarks Jonathan S. Leff, Warburg Pincus managing director.

RPS reported service-related revenues of $68.5 million during the three months ended September 30, up 32.5% compared with the same period in 2009. Service revenues for the nine months ended September 30 were $190.9 million, up 31.3% on the 2009 period.

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