Apax Partners funds acquire clinical trial logistics firm Marken

Private equity firm Apax Partners today said that a consortium comprising funds advised by it has agreed to acquire Marken, a specialised logistics and support services companies to the biopharmaceutical industry, for an undisclosed sum from Intermediate Capital Group, which had co-invested led the management buyout of Marken in 2007.

Citing people close to the matter, Dow Jones Newswire reported the deal to be in the vicinity of £975 million ($1.6 billion).

With approximately $20 billion in assets under management, the London-based Apax Partners' acquisition of Marken will make it the biggest private equity deal in the UK for more than a year since Lion Capital acquired the frozen food company FoodVest for £1.1 billion in September 2008.

The Financial Times said that the sale of Marken will generate a profit of £68 million for Intermediate Capital, on an expected sale price of £170 million for its a large minority stake.

Bruce Craig, the chief executive of Marken holds a majority stake in the company and is expected to retain a minority stake funded from the proceeds of the deal.

The London headquartered Marken, founded in 1980, is a leading global provider of logistics support services to the biopharmaceutical industry, and is a key player in the early phase II + III stages of research and drug development.
Its services include export of trial medication, vaccines and clinical trial material, cold-chain management, protocol support and regulatory advice, investigator liaison and biological sample movement on a global basis.