PRA Prepares to Go Public with Confidential SEC Filing

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Initial public offering

US CRO PRA is proposing to go public again, more than six years since it was taken private, according to a confidential draft registration statement submitted to the US SEC.

PRA, as we routinely do, is evaluating various alternatives in the capital markets.  For securities law reasons, we cannot comment on this process​,” spokeswoman Laura Lawton told Outsourcing-Phama.com.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based CRO (contract research organization) PRA’s announcement of its confidential statement comes just a week after the successful Quintiles IPO​, though PRA says it intends to use the proceeds to reduce outstanding borrowings under its credit facilities, provide liquidity for existing shareholders, pay certain fees and expenses, and for working capital and general corporate purposes, according to a company statement.

Under the confidential draft registration statement, PRA can keep its S-1 filing confidential but company executives cannot pitch their IPO to institutional investors until 21 days after they make the filing public, according to the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act signed by President Obama last April.

And also like Quintiles, this would be the second time that PRA goes public. In 2007, the company was purchased by Genstar Capital for $790m​ after about three years on the public market. That decision came after its second quarter operating income from 2007 fell by 95 percent.

Since returning back to the private sphere, the company has spent $3m to relocate its headquarters​ to Raleigh from Reston, Virginia, and more recently expanded further overseas​, as well as its acquisition of the clinical trial services firm ClinStar​. However, the company appears committed to remaining in Western Europe and the US as it just opened a new facility in Wales​ this week and said it is focused on holding its these markets.

Last year, the company also found new financial flexibility for acquisitions as it refinanced a $410m credit facility​.

The initial public offering is expected to begin after the SEC completes the review process initiated by PRA's confidential submission of its draft registration statement, and is subject to market and other conditions, according to PRA.

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