EQT, Goldman near $9 billion deal to buy contract research firm Parexel – WSJ

(Reuters) -Private equity firm EQT AB and Goldman Sachs Group’s investment arm are in advanced talks to buy contract research company Parexel International Corp for nearly $9 billion including debt, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The sale to EQT and Goldman could be completed this week, the report said here on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

EQT and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment outside business hours, while Parexel could not be reached.

The news came two weeks after the private equity firm sold Moderna Inc’s supplier Aldevron for about $9.6 billion.

Parexel, which conducts clinical trials for drugmakers to make drug approval procedures easier, had drawn interest from both private equity and strategic bidders, the report said.

Contract research organizations were hit last year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted clinical trials, but they are now seeing a resurgence in demand as drugmakers and governments invest in newer treatments.

In April, medical device maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc agreed to acquire contract researcher PPD Inc for $17.4 billion.

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