Reports have surfaced once again that Wilmington-based PPD might be in the market for a buyer.
The Wall Street Journal posted a story on its website
Friday afternoon stating that the contract research organization has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Centerview Partners in the search. The article, citing unnamed sources, added that a deal could be reached in the first quarter of next year if one is made and that it could value the company at about $5 billion.
An IPO isn’t out of the question either for PPD, which has been owned by The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman
since 2011. But the Wall Street Journal report cites those sources as saying the company hasn’t been actively preparing for an IPO.
PPD spokesman Ned Glascock said Friday afternoon that the company had no comment on the report.
Founded in the mid-1980s by Fred Eshelman, PPD went public in 1996. The company was sold to the investment firms in 2011 for $3.9 billion and returned then to operating as a private company.
This is not the first time reports
of PPD looking to change owners or go public have circulated. One year ago, Reuters also spoke
with sources – also unnamed – who said the company was exploring a sale or initial public offering.
PPD has 1,500 employees and a corporate headquarters building in Wilmington, but the company's reach is global, including offices in 46 countries and more than 18,500 professionals worldwide.