UPDATE 2-Thermo Fisher in late talks to buy PPD for over $15 bln - WSJ

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April 14 (Reuters) - Medical device company Thermo Fisher Scientific is nearing a deal to buy contract research firm PPD Inc for more than $15 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The companies could finalize a deal as soon as this week, the report said. (

Shares of PPD closed 12% higher at $43, while Thermo Fisher fell 1.4% to $478.

The contract research industry, which saw its steady rise in recent years disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now witnessing a rebound as demand for virtual clinical trials picks up.

In February, two such firms Icon Plc and PRA Health Sciences Inc announced a $12 billion merger to tap into this growing market.

Wilmington, North Carolina-based PPD provides clinical development and laboratory services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and government organizations. It has a market capitalization of $13.4 billion, while Thermo Fisher’s is $190.6 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Neither company responded immediately to requests for comment. (Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Ramakrishnan M.)