Venn Life Sciences, the clinical research organisation (CRO) based in Ireland that started trading on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM alternative investment market last December, has conditionally agreed to acquire German CRO CRM Clinical Trials GmbH for €0.6 million.

The conditional deal is for the trade as well as certain business assets and liabilities of CRM, which is expected to generate revenues of around €1.5 million in 2014, compared with revenues of €1.2 million this year, and profit before tax of about €250,000 (€200,000 in 2013).

The €0.6 million is to be paid in shares on completion of the acquisition, which is conditional on “the consent of certain key clients to the transfer of their contracts with the seller”, as well admission of the consideration shares to trading on AIM, Venn noted.

Founded in 1996, CRM is a full service CRO based in Rheinbach, Germany. It specialises in dermatology, pneumology, urology and sports medicine, serving the Austrian and Italian markets in addition to Germany.

Bigger footprint

According to Venn, the acquisition will expand its geographical footprint across multiple sites in Europe, establishing “a presence in one of Europe’s most significant regions for clinical trials”.

When the company joined the AIM market last December, following its acquisition by investment vehicle Armscote Investment Company in November 2012, Venn said its near-term objective was to extend its existing coverage in Ireland, France, Netherlands and Switzerland to other European countries through organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

Chief executive officer Tony Richardson described the latest deal as “a significant step in the right direction for Venn and our strategy of becoming a key player in the European clinical research market”.

With Germany “the leading country in Europe for conducting clinical trials, our presence there enhances both our ability to conduct multi centre trials and our core therapeutic experience”, Richardson.

The Venn board expects to make further announcements on acquisitions “in the near future”, he added.