The strength of the Midland’s corporate finance community has again been highlighted after Birmingham-based bankers supported the de-listing of Premier Research Group, an international provider of clinical trial services for biopharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Founded in 2002, Berkshire-headquartered Premier Research was floated on AIM in 2004 and employs more than 1,200 staff across 30 countries.
To de-list management secured the backing of private equity house ECI Partners and the Midlands office of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, which acted as joint arranger and underwriter on debt facilities to support the transaction.
The deal builds on the Birmingham-based acquisition finance team’s previous support of recent ECI-backed transactions, including the buyouts of Surrey-based software company ClinySis and Redditch-based Premier Bathrooms.
This year Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets team supported Barclays Private Equity’s investment in Lincolnshire-based Gardman, the UK’s leading supplier of wild bird products.
It helped fund Riverside Company’s secondary buyout of Gloucestershire-headquartered Summit Medical Group, a producer of supplies, devices and accessories for the orthopaedic surgery sector.
Martin Cordey, director, Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance, said: “The fact Birmingham corporate financiers are involved in sophisticated private transactions involving international businesses is evidence of the level of expertise the community has to offer. As well as transacting Midlands businesses, we’re increasingly seeing local advisors and funders involved in ‘off-patch’ activity, playing key roles in deals that would traditionally be led out of London.
“This is the sixth major transaction the acquisition finance team at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets has completed this year, and a number of these involve private equity houses and investee businesses outside the region.
“Premier Research is a great example – a leading player in the rapidly growing global Contract Research Organisation industry that has secured the backing of the London office of an investor in order to maintain the business’ rapid international growth.”
Premier Research has supported more than 1,200 projects since 1998 and is a leader in clinical research for analgesia (pain relief), neuroscience (central nervous system disorders), oncology (cancer), and infectious diseases.
Dr Simon Yaxley, chief executive of Premier Research Group, said: “This event ensures we are able to continue our thoughtful and measured ‘buy-and-build’ strategy to allow us to continue to deliver exceptional quality and service.
“Further, we are pleased to announce that our existing management team remains fully intact, and is as dedicated as ever to ensuring our clients’ expectations are met or exceeded. As a result, our clients, both existing and prospective, will not experience any visible change in working with the Premier Research team.”