Venn Life Sciences, the clinical research organisation (CRO) based in Dublin, Ireland, has continued on its acquisition trail by snapping up Belfast CRO Medevol Limited for a maximum of £670,000.

The acquisition in Northern Ireland closely follows a deal to take over the trade as well as certain business assets and liabilities of German CRO CRM Clinical Trials GmbH, which was announced in late October.

The latest transaction will further strengthen Venn's UK operations, the company noted. Venn joined the London Stock Exchange’s AIM alternative investment market in December 2012 and established a UK office earlier this year.

Following its own acquisition by investment vehicle Armscote 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.

Medevol has been active in the UK market since 2001, conducting full-service clinical trials for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Initial consideration

Venn has acquired the entire issued share capital of Medevol for an initial cash consideration of £70,000.

An additional deferred consideration of up to £600,000 will be payable over the next two years if Medevol achieves certain financial targets relating to the business’s annualised profit before tax. 

For its financial year ending 31 March 2014, Medevol is expected to generate revenues of around £610,000 (£84,000 in the previous year) and profit before tax of about £60,000 (2013: £35,000).

The year-on-year growth in revenues and profits reflects a “substantial” new agreement  signed recently with a global pharmaceutical company to supply clinical-research services for multiple UK-based trials, Venn noted.

The same contract is expected to contribute significantly to ongoing revenues in the Medevol business.

Right fit

Formed in 2001 as a clinical research organisation serving the UK & Northern Ireland markets, Medevol has extensive therapeutic experience in a broad range of indications across Phases II-IV of clinical development.

The CRO “is the right fit for Venn as we continue to expand our business across Europe and increase our project pipeline”, commented the latter’s chief executive officer, Tony Richardson.

Venn, Medevol and CRM Clinical Trials have a shared global pharmaceutical client and “this acquisition affords us the opportunity to develop that relationship as a key strategic account for the group going forward”, Richardson added.