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Private Equity Snatches PRA for $1.3B

By Zachary Brennan+

25-Jun-2013
Last updated on 25-Jun-2013 at 12:23 GMT

Private Equity Snatches PRA for $1.3B

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has purchased PRA International for $1.3B, which is about $500M more than previous private equity owner Genstar paid in 2007.

Over the weekend KKR acquired us from Genstar, allowing us to accelerate growth and step into the big leagues,” Colin Shannon, president and CEO of PRA, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com at the announcement of the deal at DIA’s 49th annual meeting in Boston on Monday.

KKR’s purchase came after intense bidding from two other private equity firms that Shannon refused to name, but which Reuters previously reported as Warburg Pincus and Cinven.

Shannon noted the “close finish” with the other two private equity firms in his announcement. In terms of how KKR will influence PRA’s decisions moving forward, Shannon told us, “I run the company,” adding that they will offer some strategic influence, but “ultimately I make the choices,” as it was with the company’s previous private equity owner Genstar .

They’re there to help us and not interfere,” Shannon added, noting KKR’s $78B in assets will help PRA find ways to build and improve.

PRA initially filed a confidential S-1 with the US SEC to go public in May, but industry insiders told us last week that was a ploy to attract private equity interest.

Shannon said the decision to not take the company public was a strategic one related to market awareness and the company’s scale. He added that PRA will look into an IPO again in a few years, noting the success of Quintiles’ recent IPO. PRA said that the acquisition will not affect the way the company is run or the executive management.

The price of the acquisition was first reported by the New York Times on Monday. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, Shannon said.

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