PhillyTechNews Daily Page 6/22: Plymouth Meeting-based CRF Health on the block, WSJ reports

Plymouth Meeting-based CRF Health is on the block, the Wall Street Journal reports .

CRF Health makes or supplies electronic assessment technology (EDC) used in clinical trials. Founded in 2000, CRF also has offices in the UK, Finland and Poland. It has 609 employees listed on LinkedIn, of which about 180 are in the Philadelphia area. Timo Ahopelto, Jarkko Joki-Tokola and Jaakko Ollila are the founders, though they do not appear to be active in the business now. Technically, its headquarters is in Finland.

CRF has had a string of PE owners before being acquired by the European PE firm Vitruvian Partners in January 2015. CRF has reportedly hired Jeffries to pursue the sale. It generates EBITDA of €40 million ($46.3 million), the Journal said. My guess is that it would fetch a few hundred million.

Vitruvian also owns Phlexglobal, a UK-based electronic clinical trial master file vendor with offices in Malvern, but that business, which Vitruvian's website states has sales of €25 million ($29 million), is not involved in the sale. Vitruvian Partners' website says CRF has sales of €100 ($117 million) .

The question is, will the buyer be strategic or financial?

The market is not set in stone, but rather is still experiencing considerable change. For instance, Veeva Systems (VEEV) recently entered the market with its own proprietary EDC offering.

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