£83m Synexus buyout after major growth

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Lyceum Capital, the growth investor, has exited its investment in Chorley-based international clinical trial research firm Synexus in an £83m secondary buyout backed by private equity investor LDC.

Since Lyceum took Synexus private from AIM in 2007 in an £18m deal, it has supported the company’s growth strategy, including increasing its global footprint, pushing into new therapy areas and making targeted add-on acquisitions.

Synexus’ clients include many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations, for which it recruits and treats patients in clinical trials in support of drug research.

It is one of the largest international clinical research site groups in the world.

With Lyceum’s backing, the firm has expanded in the UK and internationally, growing from 13 sites at acquisition to 25 sites in eight countries today.

This has been achieved through executing a targeted buy-and-build strategy, launching new sites and acquiring four businesses since 2007.

Having increased its contracted order book by more than £125m to over £140m from the end of 2011 to 2014, Synexus has grown revenues over the same period from £17m to £41m. EBITDA reached £7.8m in 2014, up 35 per cent on 2012, with a further increase expected in 2015. This performance has led to Synexus being recognised by the UK Government’s business growth advisory service, as a ‘hyper-growth’ business.

Andrew Aylwin, board member of Synexus and partner at Lyceum Capital, said: “When we initially invested in the business in 2007, Synexus was a company with great potential in a growing market which nevertheless lacked the scale, infrastructure and operational strategy to capitalise fully on opportunities. With our backing, the business has been transformed into unquestionably one of the leading clinical trials specialists in the world.”

Dr Christophe Berthoux, CEO of Synexus, added: “We are grateful to Lyceum, whose knowledge and experience have helped transform the business and put us in the best possible shape.”