DURHAM – Parexel has executed a definitive merger agreement, and will be acquired for $8.5 billion, the company announced today.

Parexel, recently named “Best Contract Research Organization” by an independent panel for Informa Pharma Intelligence, will be acquired by EQT IX fund and the private equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management from Pamplona Capital Management LP.

“Over the past 18 months Parexel has continued its strong growth trajectory delivering on its patients-first focus and accelerating new therapies to patients in need around the world,” said Parexel CEO Jamie Macdonald in a statement.

Pamplona Capital Management acquired the company in September 2017, for $88.10 per share, about $5 billion.

“With the market for outsourced clinical research services anticipated to grow at a conservative CAGR of 8 to 9 percent, our focus remains on advancing and innovating Parexel to meet our customers’ needs across the evolving clinical development landscape,” said Macdonald.  “EQT and Goldman Sachs support this vision and are committed to investing in Parexel and our people to capitalize on this exciting market opportunity and make a difference for patients.”

EQT was interested in the company due to alignment with the firm’s thematic focus, said Eric Liu, Partner and Global Co-Head of Healthcare at EQT in a statement.  Liu also noted that Macdonald is a former senior advisor to EQT.

“We’re very proud of Parexel’s progress over the past four years and the important work they do in helping bring exciting new therapies to patients in need,” said John Halsted, Managing Partner, Pamplona Capital Management.

“In particular, they successfully adapted the business to work in the midst of a global pandemic, and supported the development of therapies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic itself. We wish them every success in their next phase of growth,” said Halsted.

Behind Thermo Fisher’s deal to acquire PPD for $17.4B

After ThermoFisher acquired PPD, reported PE Hub in April, Pamplona Capital pursued options for Parexel, using Evercore, who ended up acting as the financial advisor to Parexel, according to the statement issued by the company.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, the company noted.  A company spokesperson could not be reached for additional comments.