A recapitalisation of US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles Transnational, which sees a leading player in the company’s September 2003 privatisation cash in its stake, is “a strong reinforcement of Quintiles’ brand and growth strategy”, claims Quintiles chairman and chief executive officer Dennis Gillings.

The new partnership, which Gillings said had been “spurred by our record performance”, involves the Quintiles chairman and the private equity firms Bain Capital and TPG Capital as lead investors, in a deal estimated at more than $3 billion. The UK-based 3i Group also becomes a “significant investor” while Singapore-headquartered Temasek Holdings, which played a part in the September 2003 buyout, maintains an interest in Quintiles, the latter noted.

No further details of the transaction, which is expected to close this month, were available, although Quintiles is keeping its existing management team and will incur no new debt as a result of the arrangement. One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase that set up Pharma Services Holdings Inc with Gillings in 2003 to acquire Quintiles for $1.7 billion (TPG Capital was also an investor), is selling its Quintiles stake to the new investor partnership.

The recapitalisation is being promoted as a platform for the next phase of Quintiles’ development and growth in a buoyant market for CROs worldwide. “The strength of our capital structure and partnership with these leading global investors underscore our unsurpassed ability to bring innovative solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries,” Gillings commented.

Founded by Gillings in 1982, Quintiles originally went public in 1994. Pharma Services Holdings made an initial $1.3 billion bid for the CRO in October 2002 but Quintiles rejected the offer as inadequate.