EQT, Goldman to buy clinical research firm Parexel for $8.5 billion

(Reuters) -Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s investment arm and Swedish private equity firm EQT AB said on Friday they will buy clinical research company Parexel International Corp from Pamplona Capital Management for $8.5 billion.

Clinical research organizations saw a spike in demand for virtual trials last year as pharmaceutical companies tried to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from derailing their drug rollouts. (

The deal comes two weeks after EQT sold Moderna Inc’s supplier Aldevron to medical equipment maker Danaher Corp for about $9.6 billion in an all-cash transaction.

Dealmaking in the pharmaceutical sector recorded its highest growth in the first quarter of 2021, according to research firm GlobalData.

In April, medical device maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc agreed to acquire contract researcher PPD Inc for $17.4 billion to add more muscle to its pharmaceutical services business.

Parexel conducts clinical trials for drugmakers to make drug approval procedures easier. Its Decentralized Clinical Trials, or DCTs, allow clinical trials to be conducted virtually or through a hybrid mode that includes home nursing for patients.

EQT will be making the investment through its EQT IX fund. Goldman Sachs and Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisors to EQT Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal counsel.

Reporting by Sohini Podder, Trisha Roy and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Amy Caren Daniel