INC Research is merging with Boston-based InVemity Health, creating a life science services firm valued at some $7.4 billion.

The two firms says the deal will make INC one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical service providers.

Shareholders in INC, which went public in 2014, will end up controlling some 53 percent of the merged company, according to the companies.

The merged firm will remain based in Raleigh, executives said in a conference call to discuss the deal.

While not as large as the $18 billion megamerger announced last year between Quintiles and IMS, the INC-inVemtiv is another major consolidation in the contract research organization (CRO) industry and further solidifies the Triangle region as a hotbed for CROs.

The acquisition was announced Wednesday before the markets opened.

INC recently broke ground for a new headquarters as part of expansion plans. The HQ will be located in Morrisville when it opens next year. INC laos had announced plans last December to add 550 employees.

The boards of directors at both companies have OK’d the all-stock deal.

The firms as a contract research organization will provide drug development and related services from early to late stage clinical trials.

inVentiv is valued at $4.6 billion. The privately held firm’s equal owners, Advent International and Thomas H. Lee Partners, will remain an investor in the merged company.

INC’s value of $2.8 billion is based on its stock closing price as of Tuesday.

“Today marks a significant milestone for INC Research. Customers are increasingly seeking simultaneous approvals and product launches in multiple markets worldwide,” said INC CEO Alistair Macdonald.

“Through this strategic combination we are bringing together two of the most innovative and respected players in the field to create a leading global biopharma solutions organization with a full suite of clinical and commercial solutions to address the needs of biopharmaceutical companies, patients, physicians and payers.

“The combination of INC Research and inVentiv will expand our global scale and add capabilities to grow our addressable market,” he added.

“Both companies have a history of successfully integrating acquisitions, and I am confident that we will capitalize on the many opportunities this combination creates for all stakeholders. We look forward to working closely with the talented inVentiv employees, who share our dedication to making the world a better place by bringing new therapies to patients, while building significant value for our shareholders.”

When the deal close, Mike Bell, the CEO of inVentiv, will serve as executive chairman and Macdonald as CEO.

The board will include 10 people, five named by each firm.

The Boston-based firm backed out of a planned $500 million IPO last August.