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Cetero plans restructuring as $80m sale nears completion

By Nick Taylor , 29-May-2012

Cetero Research will discuss restructuring its Canadian operations next week as it edges closer to an $80m sale to secured lenders.

Earlier this month a lack of rival bids prompted the bankruptcy court to approve the $80m (€64m) sale of Cetero to its secured lenders. In the wake of the okay Cetero applied to restructure Canadian operations and, after the court approved a shortening of the normal timeline, will meet next week.

Execution of the restructuring transactions will permit Cetero to utilise existing net operating losses and other beneficial tax attributes to substantially reduce administrative costs resulting from the sale of Cetero’s assets”, a legal team representing the CRO (contract research organisation) told the court.

Cetero wants to consolidate its Canadian operations into one legal entity to avoid paying “potentially significant” taxes. A hearing to discuss the proposal is scheduled for June 6 and any objections to the plan are needed two days before the meeting.

Approval of the plan will cut the burden on the lenders that are now poised to buy Cetero. The court approved their bid earlier this month and the deal is set to close when certain conditions, such as the obtaining of permits and licences, are met.

Going back to Bristol

Once the deal closes the new owners have 30 days to return data and biological samples to Bristol-Myers Squibb (B-MS) and Actavis. The sale document lists seven clinical trial agreements between B-MS and Cetero but none of these will transfer to the new owners.

As well as returning data and biological samples to B-MS, the new owners must delete all electronic copies of studies materials linked to the company and destroy all clinical trial drugs they still possess. In August B-MS inked a Phase I deal with Icon to consolidate its network of early phase vendors.

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