Premier Research’s IPO and four acquisitions

HMT advised Premier Research Group on the AIM flotation and on four subsequent acquisitions.

Premier Research Group was originally established in 2002 as a buy and build strategy, with the aim of creating a global contract research organisation, providing clinical trail management and informatics capabilities to the international pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Premier Research Group made three acquisitions in the 20 months to January 2004 in the UK, main land Europe and in the USA with HMT advising throughout. This has allowed the group to tender for and win substantial new contracts, which as standalone businesses they would not have been able to win.

The flotation raised £8 million before costs at a placing price of 40p per share, and was accompanied by the raising of a £3.5 million banking facility from Lloyds TSB.

The flotation not only provides a far greater profile and presence for Premier Research Group enabling it to win new business, but will also facilitate further acquisitions that will compliment the continuing organic growth of the group.

Acquisition of EPA Euro Pharma GmbH for £3.2 million – EPA is a contract research organisation (“CRO”), based near Frankfurt, providing a broad range of outsourced clinical services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The majority of EPA orders are with German pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. However, EPA also has contracts with several of the world’s largest multinational pharmaceutical groups.

Acquisition of Pharmdata Inc and Imform GmbH for up to £12.0 million and £4.5 million respectively

PharmData is a Contract Research Organisation (“CRO”) that specialises in clinical data management, statistical analysis, medical writing, electronic archiving and project management services for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries.  The business, which was set up in 1994, is based in Atlanta, USA and employs 40 people.

Imform is a full service CRO specialising in providing outsourced clinical services. The company has the experience and technology necessary to develop drugs from Phase I to Phase IV for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The business, which was set up in 1991 is headquartered in Darmstadt near Frankfurt and has operations across Central and Eastern Europe.

Acquisition of the Scirex Corporation Group for up to £20 million – Scirex, a subsidiary of Omnicom Inc, the global leader in marketing communications, is a full service contract research organisation (“CRO”) specialising in providing outsourced clinical services to a number of pharmaceutical areas. It specialises in trials from Phase I through to Phase IV, specialising in analgesia (CNS), general medicine (e.g. cardiovascular) and neurology. The business is long established and mainly operates from 9 offices in the US, one in Poland and one in the UK. It is headquartered near Philadelphia.

Acquisition of Pivotal Research Centers Inc – Pivotal is well established as a clinical research business based in Phoenix Arizona, with two further sites in Mesa and Salt Lake City. Today the business has 35 staff and its main focus is on Phase 1 clinical studies. It specialises in a number of therapeutic areas, including oncology, cardiovascular, dermatology, post operative analgesia and ADHD paediatrics.



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