Parexel Said to Draw Interest From AmerisourceBergen, PE Firms

Parexel International Corp., a pharmaceutical services company for sale, has drawn interest from suitors including AmerisourceBergen Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

A private equity consortium consisting of Cinven Ltd., Centerbridge Partners and GTCR is working on an offer, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Private equity firm EQT AB is also vying to buy the firm on its own, they said. Other potential bidders could include Veritas Capital, the people said.

Parexel had drawn interest from about 10 parties, the people said. Its owner, the private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management, has narrowed down the bidders with a view to getting a deal done in the next few weeks, they said.

No final agreements have been reached, and talks could still fall apart, the people said. The company could also opt to proceed with an initial public offering instead, they said. Parexel could seek a value of about $9 billion, including debt, in a sale, Bloomberg News has reported.

“Parexel’s policy is not to comment on specific market rumors,” a spokeswoman said. “Our focus remains on making a difference for patients and strengthening our position as an innovative clinical development partner for our customers.”

Representatives for AmerisourceBergen, Cinven, Centerbridge, GTCR, EQT, Veritas and Pamplona declined to comment.

Parexel is a clinical and contract-research organization that helps run the crucial studies that get experimental drugs and treatments to market.

Shares of publicly traded contract research organizations have bounced back this year after the global pandemic impacted the ability for some of them to do business last year. Many have become attractive takeover candidates. In April, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. agreed to buy PPD Inc. for $17.4 billion.

In February, Icon Plc agreed to acquire PRA Health Sciences Inc. in a contract-research deal valued at about $12 billion.

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