LDC has completed the exit of Synexus, a leading global research site group which provides patient recruitment and treatment services in support of drug research for clinical trials, in a deal that values the business at £178m. Synexus has been acquired by Jaguar Holding Company Luxembourg SARL and the transaction generates a 2.3x money multiple for LDC.
Headquartered in Manchester, UK, Synexus is one of the only global patient enrolment and investigator site management organisations (SMO). It enrols and manages patients for large, complex clinical trials on behalf of a number of leading international pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research organisations.
The business employs more than 850 people and operates via an international network of 92 dedicated research centres, 25 of which are owned by Synexus. This enables the business to access more than 79 million potential patients worldwide on behalf of its customers.
LDC backed the £83m secondary buyout of Synexus in March 2015 and during its tenure supported the acquisition of Research Across America (RAA). The deal, which completed in March 2016, enabled Synexus to enter the US market, as well as providing additional expertise in areas such as dermatology and genetics.
In addition to a targeted buy-and-build strategy, LDC’s investment supported the organic growth of the business. In the last 12 months, Synexus has opened new dedicated research centres in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania, strengthening its market-leading position in Europe.
Martin Draper, Chief Executive of LDC, said: “Since our investment in Synexus, the business has continued to outperform expectations, delivering strong organic growth and expanding its geographical presence and therapeutic areas of expertise with the acquisition of RAA in the US earlier this year. As the world’s leading SMO, Synexus is in a truly unique position and this exit demonstrates how working in partnership with private equity can strengthen a company’s proposition and drive substantial growth. Synexus is now strategically positioned to embark on the next phase of its growth, and we wish Christophe and his team the best of luck in the future. They have been an outstanding team to work with.”
Christophe Berthoux, CEO at Synexus, added: “The financial backing of LDC has enabled us to drive growth across the US and Europe, putting the business in an extremely strong position as one of the only global SMOs, and the team has also provided invaluable strategic support. The pharma industry is looking to bring new drugs to market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, and this is where Synexus can help. Our time working with LDC has created a strong platform to build on moving forward. As the company enters the next phase, we the management team are excited and look forward to continuing to grow the company and bring life changing therapies for patients worldwide.”
LDC was advised by NM Rothschild (Andrew Thomas, Julian Hudson and Adam Hansen) and DLA Piper (James Kerrigan).