Hg Capital considers Galen unit bid

Galen Holdings is planning to offload its clinical trials unit to financial investors.

A number of private equity firms are considering bids for Clinical Trial Services (CTS) with a view to a £250m offer for the unit, a division of Northern Ireland-based Galen Pharmaceuticals.

Weekend reports had suggested that Galen was in exclusive talks with Hg Capital’s healthcare team about a possible bid. Hg Capital is considering a number of possible healthcare acquisitions, including CTS, but according to a spokesperson at Hg Capital, reports of exclusive discussion between the two firms was ‘wide of the mark’.

Rumours of a sale of CTS emerged in January when Galen announced it was considering the sale of its non-core operations, allowing the company to concentrate on its speciality pharmaceutical business. Galen is also expected to dispose of its Interactive Clinical Technologies business, which provides interactive voice response systems for the management of clinical trials data, over the coming 18 months.

Hg Capital's healthcare team invests in healthcare businesses in Europe with enterprise values of between E15m and E400m, investing a minimum of E4.5m in any one transaction. To date it has made twelve investments, with a total enterprise value of some E1bn. The healthcare team invests in companies operating within patient care, medical technologies, e-Health and outsourced services to the life sciences industry.