PE firm Advent in talks to buy inVentiv for nearly $4 bn

US private equity firm Advent International is in advanced talks to buy inVentiv Group Holdings in a deal that could value the pharmaceutical research firm at close to $4 billion, including debt, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Advent has so far prevailed over rival buyout firm CVC Capital Partners in bidding for inVentiv, and a deal could be announced as early this week, the report said.

However, the source told Reuters that the negotiations could also fail, in which case inVentiv would go ahead with plans to launch an initial public offering in August.

inVentiv, based in Massachusetts, is co-owned by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, Liberty Lane Partners, and management of inVentiv.

Thomas H. Lee acquired inVentiv in 2010 for about $1.1 billion.

inVentiv is one of the largest pharmaceutical contract research organisations (CRO) in the US, and provides services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, including consulting, clinical studies and market launch in 90 countries.

The global CRO constitutes the inVentiv Health Clinical, the inVentiv Health Commercial, the inVentiv Health Consulting, and the Adheris Health.

It has supported nearly 60 per cent of all drugs approved by the US regulator in recent years, including about 70 per cent of all approved new molecular entities – more than two-thirds of truly novel drugs.

The company operates in the US, Europe, Japan, China, South Korea and India, and generates annual sales of around $2 billion.