IMS Health In Talks with PE Firms

IMS Health Inc is in talks with private equity firms about the sale of the company, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.

IMS, which provides data on prescription drug sales, could not be immediately reached for comment. It is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings Thursday.

IMS received an initial round of bids last week and may make a decision as early as November on whether to sell the company, said one source, who declined to be identified by name because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Private equity firm TPG submitted an offer, while Silver Lake and BC Partners submitted a joint bid, the source said.

Silver Lake declined to comment. TPG and BC Partners could not be immediately reached for comment.

Nielsen Co, the market research firm formerly known as VNU NV, had tried to buy IMS in in 2005, but walked away from the deal amid pressure from shareholders.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that IMS was in advanced sale talks.

Shares of surged 21.6 percent, hitting a record high of $17.84, up $3.17. (Reporting by Jessica Hall, additional reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson) (For more M&A news and our DealZone blog, go to here)