KKR & Co to buy ReSearch Pharmaceutical from PE firm Warburg

US private equity firm KKR & Co yesterday said that it would buy ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc (RPS) from peer Warburg Pincus, its second acquisition of a global contract research firm in two months.

RPS WebKKR did not disclose the financial terms of both deals, but several media reports put the purchase at around $1.3 billion in June for acquiring clinical research group PRA International from Genstar Capital. (See: KKR & Co acquires clinical research group PRA for a reported $1.3 bn)

Post closing of both deals, KKR plans to merge PRA and RPS, with PRA CEO Colin Shannon leading the combined company.

RPS will continue to operate independently as the newly formed Strategic Solutions Division of PRA under the continued leadership of RPS president Harris Koffer and executive vice president Samir Shah.

Warburg Pincus had acquired Pennsylvania-based RPS in 2011 for $227 million.

RPS is a leading provider of outsourced clinical development services and is known for pioneering the Embedded model of functional clinical development outsourcing.

Founded in 1998, RPS is one of the fastest growing CROs with more than 4,000 employees located in over 64 countries.

''This transaction represents the next step in the evolution of RPS and its Embedded service model. I can think of no better partner for RPS than PRA and am excited about the opportunities going forward for the clients and employees of RPS,'' said, Koffer.

''RPS will continue to focus on providing its unique Embedded model as well as new innovative strategic solutions,'' said Shah. ''As a division of PRA, we will continue to operate exactly as we do today, which should enable a seamless integration with absolutely no disruption for our clients and business as usual for our employees.''

''This merger brings together two highly complementary companies with PRA as a leader in traditional programmatic outsourced clinical development and RPS as a pioneer of the innovative Embedded clinical development model,'' said Jim Momtazee, member of KKR and head of its Health Care investing team.