ICON, a Dublin-based contract research organization (CRO) has entered into an agreement to acquire PRA Health Sciences, another CRO currently sited in Raleigh, North Carolina. The arrangement comprises a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $12bn USD.
According to company leaders, the transaction stands to benefit pharmaceutical and medical device customers with a greater depth of expertise, technology and talent.
According to Steve Cutler, ICON’s CEO, the joining of the two organizations will help ramp up the development of new treatments.
“The combined company will create a new paradigm for accelerating clinical research and bringing new medicines and devices to market,” Cutler commented. “Both ICON and PRA have track records of robust growth and performance and we are ready to build on this unrivaled position of strength, utilizing the outstanding talent in both organizations.”
Additionally, Cutler said, the combined capabilities and increased scale will enable customers to reduce development time and costs.
“We will be the leading provider of decentralized and hybrid trial solutions through the integration of our data capabilities, health platforms and Accellacare site network,” Cutler said, adding that the transaction will be “highly accretive” a year after the closing of the deal.
Colin Shannon, chair and CEO of PRA Health Sciences, said the joining of ICON and PRA resources will help get new medicines to patients more quickly, and at a lower cost.
“Critically ill patients can’t wait for cures; underserved populations can’t wait for access. Every day counts,” he said. “COVID-19 created a platform for change that we cannot ignore. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of mobile health technologies and healthcare intelligence tools – tools that PRA helped develop – at an unprecedented rate.”
“The union of PRA and ICON will create an organization that has the people, data and technology to bring those cures to patients faster and more efficiently than ever before,” Shannon added.
The newly combined company will be headquarted in Dublin. Cutler will serve as CEO. Brendan Brennan, currently ICON’s chief financial officer, will be CFO of the new company, and Ciaran Murray will be chair of the board of directors.
Under the terms of the transaction, PRA shareholders will receive per share, $80 USD in cash and 0.4125 shares of ICON stock. When the transaction is completed, PRA shareholders will stand to own approximately 34% of the shares of the combined company, with ICON shareholders holding about 66%.