SAN DIEGO – Mar. 1, 2013 – Synteract, a leading full-service contract research organization (CRO) and portfolio company of San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors, has completed its acquisition of Harrison Clinical Research (HCR) based in Munich Germany to form a new multinational CRO – SynteractHCR. The company will have its corporate headquarters in San Diego County. Wendel Barr will lead SynteractHCR as CEO. Dr. Francisco Harrison, formerly HCR’s chairman and founder, will remain a senior member of the executive team and become a member of the Board of Directors. The existing management stays in place, with former Synteract COO Stewart Bieler becoming president of U.S. operations and former HCR CEO Benedikt van Nieuwenhove becoming president of European operations for SynteractHCR.
The merger of the companies will make SynteractHCR a top tier, global CRO and provide additional resources and scale to support large, later phase programs. A continued directive of the new combined company will be to maintain a strong connection with emerging to midsize biopharmaceutical companies through which a consultative approach and strong clinical development expertise provide the foundation of its customer relationships.
“Our longstanding drug development expertise allows us to form a new global leader with enhanced scale and therapeutic breadth, but with the personal approach that we have always taken to working with clients,” said CEO Wendel Barr. “We will provide a continuum of service that allows us to work with clients throughout the entire development life cycle, from emerging products through post-marketing, and will bring technology efficiencies to the company that will help to take time and cost out of drug development.”
Fairmount Partners, a specialty investment bank based outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, advised Synteract, and assisted them in an acquisitions program that culminated in the acquisition of HCR. Neal McCarthy, Managing Director of Fairmount Partners, added, “We are very pleased to have helped in putting these two companies together – we have known both business for many years, and under the expert guidance of Wendel Barr and Dr. Harrison, we expect great things from the combination. With this transaction, SynteractHCR is poised to gain critical traction serving larger global clinical trials.”
The combined company will have offices in 16 countries with operations in both Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and South America, as well as the U.S. In addition to its headquarters in San Diego, California, SynteractHCR’s U.S.presence will include two offices on the East coast in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Princeton, New Jersey, reflecting coverage of three important biopharmaceutical hubs. This expanded presence will allow the company to offer strong international and regional clinical trial support to clients throughout the world. SynteractHCR also maintains a clinical in-patient unit in Germany that will help enlist trial patients, as well as a clinical research training center in Belgium to assist internal and external professionals. Both organizations have a complementary heritage of managing Phase I-IV clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas, much of which strategically aligns with the largest areas of clinical R&D investment, including oncology, CNS, infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiovascular and respiratory.
SynteractHCR is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based premier middle market private equity firm, which was the lead financial partner in the acquisition. Fairmount Partners provided financial advice to Synteract, while KPMG International provided financial advice to HCR. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Fairmount Partners
Fairmount Partners is one of the largest investment banking groups in the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm specializes in advising middle-market growth companies with mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic advice. Fairmount’s key focus areas include: Healthcare, IT and Business Services, Software & Technology and Industrial & Consumer businesses. Fairmount has completed transactions throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Including this transaction, the members of the Pharmaceutical Services team at Fairmount Partners have completed 95 transactions with parties in 16 countries, and this represents the 7th transaction in Germany.
For more information, visit: www.fairmountpartners.com.