Genstar Capital to Sell PRA to KKR

Genstar Capital, LLC said on Monday that it has agreed to sell PRA to funds managed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP. No financial terms were disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Genstar and PRA. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a provider of services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


SAN FRANCISCO, June 24, 2013 – Genstar Capital, LLC, a middle market private equity firm that focuses on investments in select segments of the life sciences, healthcare, financial services, software, and industrial technology industries, today announced a definitive agreement to sell PRA, one of the world’s leading global contract research organizations (CRO), to funds managed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (“KKR”).Genstar acquired PRA in a take-private transaction in 2007 for $797 million. Since then, working with newly appointed CEO Colin Shannon and a new senior management team, Genstar invested in PRA and completed key strategic addon acquisitions, strengthened the company’s European operations, enhanced its technology, and developed its infrastructure to support continued expansion in emerging markets. As a result, the company generated significant revenue and EBITDA growth compared to the industry and continues to attract new business for its full spectrum of services.
Colin Shannon, President and CEO of PRA, said, “The Genstar team has extensive experience building businesses in the life sciences industry and with their help we have grown PRA into a first class global CRO. Their support enabled us to better serve our clients in the U.S. and internationally. Targeted investments, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia, expanded our geographic coverage and, as a result of this strong infrastructure, we have a growing list of new business opportunities. We have been very fortunate with our partnership with Genstar and believe our company is positioned for continued growth as a KKR portfolio company.”
Jean-Pierre L. Conte, Chairman and Managing Director of Genstar Capital, said, “In 2007 we were attracted by the growth opportunities that existed within the CRO industry and particularly with PRA where we believed our leadership team under Colin Shannon could accelerate growth and profitability initiatives to successfully drive change at PRA and build the company on a sustained basis. This is an excellent outcome for our investors, PRA and their clients and, importantly, the company continues to have a strong partner in KKR. The PRA leadership team under Colin Shannon has delivered over 100% of what they committed to through a tough economic period. Genstar is proud to have been a part of building this company and working with such a capable leadership team.”
Rob Weltman, a Genstar Managing Director, said, “PRA has developed a niche in an attractive growing sector of the pharma services industry and is transforming clinical trials because of its people, innovation and transparency with customers. During our involvement with PRA, the company consistently grew revenues and profitability and delivered strong service to its customers across the globe.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. Jefferies LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Genstar and PRA, and Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor.
About PRA International
PRA International, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, is a leading international CRO with over 5,300 employees offering services in 80+ countries. The company provides services on a contract basis to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. PRA offers comprehensive services including the filing of Investigational New Drug and similar regulatory applications, management and implementation of Phase I through IV clinical trials, preparation and submission of New Drug Applications, and post-marketing surveillance on an international basis.
About Genstar Capital, LLC
Genstar Capital ( is a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high quality companies for more than 20 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of operating executives and strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Genstar has more than $4 billion of committed capital under management and targets investments focused on selected sectors within the life science, healthcare services, software and software services, insurance and financial services, and industrial technology industries.