inVentiv Health in $1.1 billion sale to private equity firm

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InVentiv Health is being acquired by Thomas H. Lee Partners for $1.1 billion.

As MM&M went to press, stockholders were set to vote on the planned sale, announced in May, to Papillon Holdings, Inc., a Thomas H. Lee subsidiary, at a July 21 meeting. Shares in the company had jumped past $25 in anticipation of a sale.

InVentiv Health formed from the 2005 merger of a private agency network, Columbus-based InChord Communications, and Ventiv Health, a Somerset, NJ-based, publicly-held contract sales firm, for $185 million. At that time, the InChord agencies, including GSW Worldwide and Palio Communications, were expected to contribute a quarter of the combined company's revenue. By the end of 2009, it was closer to a third, with the communications division contributing $310 million in revenues.

InVentiv saw its revenues fall from $1.12 billion in 2008 to $1.07 billion in 2009, but the company said that the sour economy and the contracting US pharma industry did not prompt the move.

“There are several reasons we decided to enter into this transaction,” said Marcia Frederick, head of PR at InVentiv. “Going private will enable InVentiv to take a longer-term approach to gr

owth, rather than focusing so intently on quarter-over-quarter performance. It also will allow us to make strategic investments that will help us to continue expanding our offerings to clients. Finally, we selected THL because they understand and support our corporate vision, bring strong strategic insights, and are committed to working with us to achieve long-term growth.”

The company faces an investor lawsuit, filed in Delaware State Court, alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the board of the company, which the litigants allege sold too cheaply. At press time, the complaint had not yet been certified by a judge, making it unclear whether the case could go forward.
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