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PPD Files For IPO

By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 9, 2020
PPD, headquartered in downtown Wilmington, filed Thursday with the SEC for an initial public offering to raise $100 million. (File photo)
Wilmington-headquartered contract research organization PPD filed Thursday with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering, according to an SEC filing.

"However, the deal size is likely a placeholder for an IPO that we estimate could raise $1 billion," according to IPO tracker Renaissance Capital, which posted about the filing Thursday on Nasdaq.com.

The company wants to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PPD, according to the filing.

“Applicable securities laws restrict further comment at this time,” stated Ned Glascock, company spokesman.

PPD was founded by Fred Eshelman in the mid-1980s, and in November last year announced that it had interest in once again becoming a public company, after its first IPO in 1996. It was acquired by Hellman & Friedman and The Carlyle Group for $3.9 billion in 2011, becoming private then.

"The company served all of the top 50 biopharmaceutical companies in the world in 2018, as ranked by research and development spending, and was involved in 66 drug approvals," the Renaissance Capital article states. The article also states that the firm booked $4 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

PPD, which has about 23,000 employees worldwide, has 100 offices in 46 countries. In the past five years, it has conducted more than 2,100 clinical trials, according to the company.

Its direct revenue went from nearly $2.1 billion in 2015 to more than $2.8 billion in 2018, according to filing documents.

“Today, our total addressable market is greater than $51 billion, consisting of clinical development services, including peri- and post-approval services and site and patient enrollment services, and laboratory services,” the prospectus states, which describes PPD as “one of the world’s largest providers of drug development services.”

Also on Thursday, PPD announced that the firm has expanded its operations and leadership team in China to provide enhanced clinical development, laboratory, regulatory, site conduct, patient access and post-approval services for international and China-based biopharmaceutical companies.
 
According to the announcement, PPD’s expansion includes enlarging its clinical development offices in Beijing and Shanghai and opening new offices in Guangzhou and Shenyang.

This year, PPD Laboratories plans to open a multifunctional lab in China offering bioanalytical, biomarker and vaccine sciences services.

In addition, the news release stated, the company’s Accelerated Enrollment Solutions (AES) business added China to its global footprint for delivery of performance-based enrollment solutions for chronic ambulatory trials, leveraging its partnership with more than 300 hospitals in China.
 
PPD’s growing operations in China are being led by a new in-country leadership team with extensive experience across the pharmaceutical and biotech industry and in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
 
“Recent regulatory changes streamlining the drug development approval process in China have positioned the country as a key location for conducting clinical trials for many global studies,” said David Johnston, executive vice president of global clinical development at PPD, in the release. “Our expanded operations in China enhance our ability to provide multinational pharmaceutical companies with expanded access to the country’s evolving drug development and post-marketing ecosystem and to support Chinese biotechnology companies conducting trials in the global market.”
 
Correction: This version has been changed to reflect the correct amount of direct revenue referenced in Thursday's SEC filing.

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