WILMINGTON – Life science conglomerate PPD, which is based in Wilmington and has a large presence in Research Triangle Park, is going public.

It’s aiming high, looking to raise at least $1.44 billion in an announcement made early Monday.

The stock symbol will be as it was the first time around:


Pharmaceutical Product Development was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Fred Eshelman who took the firm public in 1996 after launching it in 1985. He moved PPD to Wilmington in 1986. The firm was acquired and taken private in 2011.

Talk emerged late last year that PPD might seek a return to the public markets.

It employs some 23,000 people across 100 offices – including a large one in the Triangle – in 46 countries.

In 2017, PPD raised $500 million in new capital, raising the company’s value to an estimated $9 billion.

Rumors circulated in late 2016 that the company might be sold.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Related PPD headlines

PPD raising $550M, hitting $9B in value after attracting two new investors

From our archives: The Fred Eshelman saga includes one-person startup at PPD to Wilmington’s Walk of Fame and now a $1.1B sale of Furiex

The full announcement from PPD follows:

PPD, Inc. today announced the launch of its initial public offering of 60 million shares of its common stock pursuant to a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The initial public offering price is expected to be between $24.00 and $27.00 per share. PPD has applied to have its common stock approved for listing on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “PPD.”

PPD intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to redeem in full its 7.625%/8.375% Senior PIK Toggle Notes due 2022 and 7.75%/8.50% Senior PIK Toggle Notes due 2022, in each case, plus redemption premium and accrued and unpaid interest thereon, and any remainder for general corporate purposes.

The offering is being made through an underwriting group led by Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, who are acting as lead bookrunning managers, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, Evercore ISI, HSBC and Mizuho Securities, who are acting as joint bookrunning managers, and Baird, William Blair and Drexel Hamilton, who are acting as co-managers. PPD expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 9 million shares of its common stock at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discounts and commissions.

A registration statement on Form S-1, including a prospectus, which is preliminary and subject to completion, relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.