When Quintiles (NYSE:Q) announced in August it would acquire Novella Clinical, the pharmaceutical services provider said the acquisition fit its “tactical tuck-in” strategy of deals that bring the company key capabilities.
Morrisville-based Novella specializes in oncology and medical devices and it brings to Quintiles its relationships with small pharmas and emerging biotechs – a customer base the Durham company is eager to tap. But while Quintiles was open about the reasons it wanted to acquire the neighboring Triangle clinical research organization, executives demurred when asked about the price.
Now we know how much.
Quintiles bought the smaller Novella for $146.5 million in cash, according to Quintiles’ quarterly report. The company applied $105.7 million from its May initial public offering proceeds toward the Novella acquisition, Quintiles said in the filing.
Quintiles closed the Novella acquisition on Sept. 16. Now as a part of Quintiles, Novella operates as a separate entity within the larger company; while Quintiles’s oncology operations serve large pharmas Novella is the Quintiles unit serving smaller, emerging oncology companies.
Speaking to analysts on a conference call to discuss third quarter financial results, CEO Tom Pike said Quintiles had been searching for a company that would bolster the firm’s oncology and medical device services.
“Novella really fits that bill,” Pike said. “when you look at their portfolio of customers, they work primarily with smaller biopharma. That, we view, as an opportunity area for us. And so they are just about a perfect fit.”
Quintiles reported $932.7 million in third quarter revenue, a modest 2.1 percent increase compared to a year ago. Novella contributed approximately $30 million in service revenue in the quarter, Quintiles CFO Kevin Gordon said. Novella had an “insignificant impact” on Quintiles consolidated earnings, Gordon said.
But Quintiles is betting Novella will help boost the company’s top line. And Novella is incentivized to do so. The Novella acquisition includes additional annual payments of up to $21.0 million if Novella hits certain revenue and net new business targets over the next three years, according to the quarterly filing.
Novella, founded in 1998, built its oncology focus through acquisitions. In 2010, the company acquired Prologue Research International, an Ohio CRO spun out of Ohio State University that focused on oncology drugs. Later that year, Novella also acquired the development staff of Colorado-based OSI Pharmaceuticals, the team that developed pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer drug Tarceva, a Genentech product.
Novella’s service territory has been primarily North America and Europe. When the acquisition by Quintiles was announced, Novella CEO Richard Staub – who has stayed on at Novella to run the unit – told WRALTechWire that he had been looking for ways to grow Novella’s business in additional geographies. Now as part of Quintiles, Novella has the resources to do so and the financial incentives to do it quickly.