Icon to raise over $2bn to part fund PRA merger

Planned $12bn deal will create world’s largest clinical resarch organisation

Irish clinical trials group Icon, which employs more than 1,000 people in the Republic, intends to raise more than $2 billion (€1.65 billion) through a private offering of senior secured notes.

The company said it intends to use the proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand and borrowings made under new proposed credit facilities, to help part fund its merger with PRA Health Sciences.

That deal, which was announced in February, sees the company acquiring PRA in a $12 billion transaction to form the world’s largest contract research organisation.

Icon, which is listed on the Nasdaq, is a global provider of drug development solutions and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, was established in 1990 by Dr John Climax and Dr Ronan Lambe. The company employs 13,680 people in 37 countries.


Icon said it intends to offer $500 million in senior secured notes due 2026 and $1,515 million in notes due 2028.

Highly accretive

The deal for PRA is expected to be highly accretive. Icon said previously it will deliver double-digit accretion in the first full year and growing to 20 per cent or more thereafter. The combined entity will be headquartered in Dublin.

PRA is a contract research organisation with headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina that was founded in 1982. The company employs about 17,000 people globally.

Icon last year recorded revenues of $2.8 billion with adjusted earnings per share totalling $6.53. It is expecting 2021 turnover to be in the range of $3.2 billion to 3.3 billion.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist