The rumors have circulated for at least a year. But now it's official, North Carolina-based Quintiles has filed a registration with the U-S Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. This isn’t the first time Quintiles has moved forward with plans to file an initial public offering, but times are different today for the 30 year-old company founded by former UNC biostatistics professor Dennis Gillings.
The clinical testing company is a world leader with 27,000 employees. John Lewis is a spokesman for ACRO, the Association of Clinical Research Organizations, in Washington, DC.
"The industry over the last 10 years or so has essentially more than doubled in size both in terms of revenues and in terms of employment and we see the growth trend continuing," said Lewis.
Lewis says four of the top eight clinical research organizations are based in North Carolina. Quintiles is the biggest, conducting business in 100 countries.
Clay Thorp is General Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners in Durham. He says Quintiles’ options are likely greater being public than private.
"Yes, they can raise capital. But probably as importantly, if not more importantly, they will now have publicly tradable stock which could be used for things like acquisitions," said Thorp.
Quintiles said its revenues last year were $3.7 billion. The company hopes to raise $600 million for its proposed initial public offering.