MORRISVILLE – Syneos Health, a biopharma services company based in Morrisville, is being acquired by a group of investors in a deal worth $7.1 billion.

The deal was announced early Wednesday. Syneos shares (SYNH) immediately rose nearly 9% to just under $42. The company has some 22,000 employees worldwide.

Buyers are investment firms Elliott Investment Management, Patient Square Capital and Veritas Capital.

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Shareholders will be paid $43 per share in cash, a 24% premium over the price of the shares on Feb. 13 which Syneos notes was ” the last trading day prior to media speculation regarding the Company.”

In the announcement Ramzi Musallam, CEO and Managing Partner of Veritas, noted:  “Syneos Health provides mission-critical clinical research and commercialization services to leaders in the biopharmaceutical space,” said Ramzi Musallam, CEO and Managing Partner of Veritas. “Consistent with our successful history of transforming businesses in the healthcare ecosystem, and in partnership with the Syneos Health team and the consortium, Veritas looks forward to driving investment in the Company to underscore Syneos Health’s position as a market leader and to enhance its ability to deliver medical innovations to patients across the globe.”

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The deal includes Syneos’ corporate debt.

“This agreement is the culmination of a comprehensive review of opportunities available to Syneos Health, including interest from multiple parties with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors. The Syneos Health Board of Directors unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction maximizes value for our shareholders and is in the best interests of the Company and all stakeholders,” said John Dineen, Chair of the Syneos board. “The Company has a strong operating foundation, differentiated, integrated solutions and a focus on being committed to customers. We believe this transaction will enable Syneos Health to continue to accelerate its growth strategy, enhance customer delivery and evolve the organization toward a tech-enabled future.”