Quintiles plans to raise $2.43 billion that the conctract research organization will use to refinance existing debt and apply to future deals that could include acquisitions and new partnerships.
In securing the bank financing, the Durham, N.C.-based CRO is taking advantage of what it believes are favorable conditions in the financial markets, spokesman Phil Bridges said.
“It’s a good debt market; it’s favorable for us,” Bridges said.
Most of the money that privately held Quintiles borrows would be used to refinance $1.7 billion of existing debt of its parent, Quintiles Transnational Holdings, according to the company.
The rest would be used for “corporate actions” such as acquisitions, strategic alliances with customers and purchasing shares or issuing a shareholder dividend. Bridges said that no decisions about what corporate actions to fund have been made at this point.
Quintiles is the CRO industry’s largest company with about $3 billion in annual revenue generated from operations that span the globe. In recent years, the company has been expanding beyond the traditional CRO role of providing outsourced clinical trial services by also partnering with pharmaceutical companies, an arrangement that gives Quintiles a bigger share in the risk of drug development but also a greater share of the rewards of newly commercialized drugs. Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) is an example of a pharmaceutical company that has entered into such an arrangement with Quintiles.
J.P. Morgan is the lead bank involved in the new financing. Several others are also participating, Bridges said.