Abry’s SambaSafety readies sale, Hellman & Friedman, Carlyle-backed PPD bought by Thermo Fisher for $17.4b

Abry Partners preps sale of SambaSafety and Thermo Fisher is buying Carlyle-backed PPD for $17.4 billion.

Morning, hubsters!

In today’s headlines, we’ve got Thermo Fisher’s mega deal for PPD, with the publicly-traded pharma services giant continuing to prove a winning investment for Hellman & Friedman and Carlyle Group. Plus – shocker – another PE-backed tech company is headed to the auction block.

Up for sale: Abry Partners is preparing for a sale of SambaSafety, a provider of driver risk management and insurance software, sources familiar with the situation told PE Hub. Houlihan Lokey is engaged for sell-side advice, although the process has yet to kick off.
Under the Boston-based private equity firm’s backing, SambaSafety recruited a new leadership team while growing through multiple add-on acquisitions – most recently, Instructional Technologies.

Abry’s investment in SambaSafety dates back about five years, having invested in the technology company in April 2016. Read Milana’s full report on PE Hub.

Proof in the long-hold: Thermo Fisher is buying clinical research organization PPD for $17.4 billion plus approximately $3.5 billion of net debt, a Thursday announcement said.

From a private equity perspective, PPD has undeniably generated huge returns for its almost decade-long investors Hellman & Friedman and Carlyle Group. The investors took the company public February 2020 – a time which, unlike today, few PE-backed healthcare companies were testing the public markets. H&F still owns 38 percent of the company, while Carlyle holds 16 percent, WSJ wrote.

Here’s a quick run-down on the growth in value: Now close to $21 billion in enterprise value, PPD’s IPO assigned it an initial EV close to $14 billion just over a year ago. That’s up from the $3.9 valuation at which it was valued in its December 2011 take-private transaction. When H&F and Carlyle recapped the company in April 2017 – adding Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and a GIC affiliate as investors – it brought PPD’s valuation to $9.05 billion.

With today’s deal, PPD’s equity value is up 11x since 2011, a source told PE Hub. Stay tuned for more on the deal!

Have a great rest of the week ahead, and as always, hit me up with your questions, comments or tips at springle@buyoutsinsider.com.