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Icon buys Cross Country's clinical trials biz for $52M

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Irish CRO Icon ($ICLR) has agreed to trade $52 million for Cross Country Healthcare's ($CCRN) clinical trials operation, looking to expand its contract staffing, functional service and pharmacovigilance offerings.

Under the deal, Icon receives three Cross Country subdivisions: ClinForce and Assent Consulting, which offer contract staffing, permanent placement and functional service provision services; and AKOS, which provides pharmacovigilance and drug safety consulting. Icon plans to roll the former two into its resourcing and FSP operation, DOCS, and transfer AKOS' capabilities into its medical and safety services business.

Icon CEO Ciaran Murray said Cross Country's FSP business has a strong foothold in the U.S., making it a big complement to DOCS' existing EU presence, and adding AKOS will only strengthen Icon's drug safety consulting arm--an in-demand space.

"The demand for flexible resourcing solutions continues to grow as biopharma companies employ a range of outsourcing models to meet their development goals more efficiently," Murray said in a statement.

The deal, which Icon expects to close in the next 30 days, is for $52 million in cash, plus a possible $3.75 million earn-out for Cross Country if the acquired businesses meet certain performance milestones.

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