LabCorp in talks to buy Pharmaceutical Product Development for more than $8 bn

US healthcare diagnostics company Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) is in talks to buy contract researcher Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) for more than $8 billion, including debt, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

A successful deal would be LabCorp's biggest acquisition ever, after its 2015 purchase of contract research company Covance Inc for $5.7 billion.

LabCorp, based in Burlington, North Carolina, is one among other suitors participating in an auction for private equity-owned PPD, which has also attracted interest from buyout firms, the report said.

PPD is owned by private equity firms Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman, who acquired the Wilmington, North Carolina-based company in 2011 for $3.9 billion.

Founded in 1985 by Fred Eshelman, PPD is a global contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs.

The company also offers product launch services and patient and disease registry programs, and has operations worldwide.

Its clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organisations.
With a market cap of $14.1 billion, LabCorp is one of the largest independent clinical laboratory companies in the US with a network of 36 primary laboratories.

In 1995 National Health Laboratories Holdings Inc. merged with Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. and changed its name to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings.

With net revenue of $8.5 billion in 2015, LabCorp's has clients in 60 countries and employs 50,000 people.