Francisco Partners said to explore sale of Therapeutic Research Center

Francisco Partners is seeking a buyer for Therapeutic Research Center, a provider of evidence-based drug-therapy information that helps doctors stay informed and make decisions when treating patients, four sources told Buyouts.

The sellers have retained William Blair to advise on the sales process, two of the sources said.

Technology-focused private equity group Francisco completed its “strategic investment” in TRC in August 2012. Terms weren’t disclosed. Avante Mezzanine Partners in July 2014 announced an unspecified subordinated-debt and equity co-investment in the company.

Founded in 1985, TRC offers evidence-based drug therapy recommendations, continuing education programs, training and data to medical professionals. TRC serves more than 400,000 medication prescribers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

TRC’s monthly “letters” published and delivered to medical professionals include the Pharmacist’s Letter and Prescriber’s Letter. The Stockton, Calif., company also encompasses a dataset on natural medicines, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, as well as an online platform for training for pharmacy technicians called Pharmacy Technicians University.

The company generates plus or minus $10 million of EBITDA, two of the sources estimated. A multiple of EBITDA in the high single digits is likely, one of the people added.

Other providers of evidence-based clinical decision support services include the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, as well as Zynx Health, a business purchased in 2004 by Hearst Corp through its business-media division.

TRC could find a buyer in either PE or a media company like Hearst, sources said. A strategic might find value in TRC from an economies-of-scale or synergy standpoint, one of the sources said. One appealing attribute is the asset’s high renewal rates, another source noted.

The Francisco investment team on the portfolio company included a partner and board member, Chris Adams, and Co-President Ezra Perlman.

A William Blair representative and Francisco’s Adams did not return requests for comment on Tuesday.

Action Item: Get in touch with Francisco’s Perlman at

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