Last month PRA submitted a draft registration statement to the US SEC indicating to some that the company, which has been private for six years, was on the verge of becoming public.
However, according to Reuters, privaty equity firms KKR & Co, Warburg Pincus and Cinven are weighing up options and looking to purchase PRA from holding company Genstar Capital, who paid $790m for the company in 2007.
Citing undisclosed sources, the news agency said the firms were ready to submit second-round bids later this month and PRA could fetch as much as $1.3bn.
David Windley, an analyst from global investment firm Jeffries - said to be assisting Genstar in finding a buyer - could not offer any specific comment regarding this deal to Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
However, he did say "Private Equities have been interested in CROs for some time," adding that "nearly half the industry has been Private Equity-owned."
Laura Lawton, a spokesperson for the North Carolina-based CRO, told this publication last month “PRA is evaluating various alternatives in the capital markets.”
Last month fellow CRO Quintiles raised over $1bn by pricing about 27.2m shares at around $40 each in a successful IPO following several months of rumours.