Is life science services company PPD for sale? A Reuters news report says it is, but so far the company isn’t saying anything.

PPD, which is privately held, is based in Wilmington and has a large operation in RTP. The company is regularly recognized as one of the world’s top contract research organizations along with Quintiles and INC Research.

Reuters reported Friday that the company, which was founded in Wilmington by philanthropist and investor Fred Eshelman, was exploring a possible sale or going public.

“PPD will run an auction to sell itself early next year, but will pursue an initial public offering instead if the acquisition offers it receives do not meet its owners’ valuation expectations,” Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

If so, a deal could value the company between $7-8 billion, Reuters said.

However, PPD spokesperson Ned Glascock wasn’t talking.

“PPD does not comment on speculation or rumor in the marketplace,” Glascock told the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

PPD is owned by The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman. Both are private equity firms.

The firm was sold to those companies in 2011 for $3.9 billion.

On Monday, both remained mum.

“Carlyle Group LP referred questions to Ned Glascock, a Wilmington-based PPD spokesman,” The Wilmington Star News reported. “Hellman & Friedman declined to comment.”

Glascock told the newspaper Monday that he had nothing else to say.