Print
Health Care

WSJ Reports That PPD In Talks To Sell

By Vicky Janowski and Cece Nunn, posted Apr 14, 2021
PPD's headquarters in downtown Wilmington (File photo)
Wilmington-based PPD is in talks to sell to Thermo Fisher Scientific for more than $15 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon.
 
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue, the publication said the companies could come to a deal as early as this week if talks don’t fall through.
 
PPD officials did not immediately return requests for comment Wednesday evening.
 
Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has a global workforce of more than 80,000 and annual revenue exceeding $30 billion, according to the company. Working on technologies, purchasing and pharmaceutical services through its brands that include Applied Biosystems and Unity Lab Services and Patheon, its market cap is about $188 billion.
 
PPD, a contract research organization with about 1,800 employees in the Wilmington area and 25,000 globally, has a market cap of about $13.6 billion.
 
Shares of PPD (Nasdaq: PPD) rose 12% at the market’s close Wednesday after the WSJ report, rising another 2% in after-hours trading. Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) shares were up slightly after hours after closing 1.4% down Wednesday.
 
Wednesday’s report is not the first time a potential PPD sale has made the headlines. Reuters reported in February 2017 that Burlington-based LabCorp was in talks to acquire PPD for more than $8 billion, nearly half of the figure sources told the WSJ is being discussed with Thermo Fisher Scientific.
 
Instead, PPD closed that year on a recapitalization deal and added two new investors. The investment with a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and an affiliate of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, valued PPD at the time at more than $9 billion.
 
Founded in 1985 by Fred Eshelman as a one-person firm, PPD held its first initial public stock offering in 1996. The company was later sold to affiliates of investment firms The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman in 2011 for $3.9 billion, which turned it into a private company.

 
But last year, PPD returned to being a public company, listing on the Nasdaq in February
 
PPD, which played a role in Moderna’s clinical trials last year to develop its COVID-19 vaccine, reported a 16.1% increase in revenue last year over 2019, up nearly $4.7 billion.
 
Wilmington Mayor Saffo, who said Wednesday he did not have information about the reported talks, said he was not necessarily surprised.
 
“[A company that size], you can always expect that someone’s going to try to purchase them,” he said. “Obviously, they’re a large employer for our community, for our city. They’re a very important part of the job market here … they’ve made significant investments over the years especially downtown.”
 
“I hope,” Saffo said, “that if they are purchased by this company, they remain here in this community.”
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Connorkeller headshot

Patience Pays Dividends

Connor Keller - Live Oak Private Wealth
Mikeharrington carolinaretreats 2

Accidental Guest Damages: Take A Deep Breath!

Mike Harrington - Carolina Retreats
Jasonpathfinder3

Aligning Your Investments And Your Heart

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting

Trending News

NCino Sports Park? City To Consider Sponsorship Agreement

Cece Nunn - May 3, 2021

Biotech Startup Names New CEO

Johanna Cano - May 4, 2021

Fintech Company Forms Alliance With Money-transfer Network

Jenny Callison - May 3, 2021

Driftwood Apartments Under Contract With Cape Fear Collective

Staff Reports - May 4, 2021

Bites And Sips At Catawba Brewing In Wilmington

Jessica Maurer - May 5, 2021

In The Current Issue

Pleasure Island Chamber Shaking Things Up

The Pleasure Island chamber recently announced changes to the organization....


Dropping In On Child-care Business

The Richards have taken the concept they developed in 2008 with their first Wilmington location and opened franchises in both North and Sout...


Coping With Ongoing Appliance Shortage

An appliance shortage stemming from multiple factors, COVID-19 being the major one, has been going on for the better part of a year and does...

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100