Major INC Research investor sells shares for $177m

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

INC Research HQ in North Carolina
INC Research HQ in North Carolina

Related tags Central nervous system U.s. securities and exchange commission Nervous system

INC Research investor Avista Capital Partners has offloaded shares just days after the CRO was upgraded by a number of analysts.

The divestiture – disclosed in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing posted today​ – saw Avista sell just over four million shares for $177.2m (€158.7m) at an average price of $44 per share.

In July, INC raised its guidance reported 14.2% net service revenue growth in Q2 and raised its guidance, citing revenue growth in CNS (central nervous system) and oncology business, new customers and repeat business as drivers for the gains.

At the time CEO Jamie Macdonald said: "On the customer front, we continue to see strong repeat business while winning new awards from new customers with novel molecules exploring innovative approaches for patients. 

Our launch during the quarter of the CRO industry's first Site Advocacy Group has been highly successful with positive customer feedback, holding significant potential to improve the way in which clinical trials are conducted in the future.”

Analyst attention

As a result, INC has attracted the attention of a number of analysts in recent times.

Earlier this month Zacks​ upped its rating from “sell” to “strong-buy” and set the firm a price target of $58 per share. Last week, Credit Suisse​ began covering the CRO.  

Avista​ signalled its intention to sell some of its holding in INC in an SEC filing earlier this month, as did Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) Board.

It is the second time Avista has reduced its holding in INC this year. In May, according to another SEC filing​, the New York-headquartered group sold around six and a half million shares in the CRO for $195m.

Related topics Clinical Development Phase III-IV

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