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Thermo Fisher Scientific Expands Pharma Presence with PPD

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The Waltham, MA-based company is set to acquire a PPD for $17.4 billion. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s acquisition follows a string of high-value deals that have recently occurred in the industry.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is making a multi-billion-dollar acquisition that will enhance its position in the biotech industry.

The Waltham, MA-based company announced it will acquire PPD, a provider of clinical research services to the pharma and biotech industry, for $47.50 a share or $17.4 billion-plus the assumption of about $3.5 billion of net debt. The acquisition is set to close at the end of this year.

"Pharma and Biotech is our largest and fastest-growing end market, and our customers value us as a strategic partner and an industry leader. The acquisition of PPD is a natural extension for Thermo Fisher and will enable us to provide these customers with important clinical research services and partner with them in new and exciting ways as they move a scientific idea to an approved medicine quickly, reliably and cost-effectively," said Marc Casper, chairman, president and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "Longer term, we plan to continue to invest in and connect the capabilities across the combined company to further help our customers accelerate innovation and drive productivity, while driving further value for our shareholders."

PPD said it serves in the $50 billion clinical research services industry and has more than 26,000 colleagues operating in nearly 50 countries. In 2020, the company generated revenue of $4.7 billion. Upon the close of the transaction, PPD will become part of Thermo Fisher's Laboratory Products and Services Segment.

The deal gives Thermo Fisher Scientific a plan of attack from both ends should another viral disaster occur. The company was already at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic with its testing kits. Now with PPD, it would be able to offer clinical research services to help run studies that get experimental drugs to market. 

This is one of the largest deals Thermo Fisher has been involved in since its failed attempt to acquire Qiagen for $12.5 billion. Thermo Fisher abandoned the deal after Qiagen’s earnings were strengthened by coronavirus testing offerings, which caused the Venlo Netherlands-based company’s shareholders to hold on a little bit tighter.

The proposed acquisition follows a string of high-value deals that have recently occurred in the industry.

On Monday, Diasorin announced it would acquire Luminex for $1.8 billion. That same day, Microsoft said it would acquire Nuance, a cloud and AI software specialist with a focus on healthcare, for $19.7 billion.

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