Bridgepoint Development Capital acquires Phlexglobal


Phlexglobal, the specialist provider of technology-enabled document management solutions and other support services to the global clinical research market, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital (‘BDC’) from Inflexion in a transaction totalling £42 million.

Established in 1997, Phlexglobal has offices in Amersham, UK and Philadelphia, US and employs 230 people. The company supports administrative and operational aspects of the pharmaceutical clinical trial process. It is a specialist in Trial Master File ('TMF') software and services to global pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors and clinical research organisations.


A TMF is a collection of all the essential documents created during a clinical trial. Required by law, the TMF demonstrates compliance with regulatory standards for the conduct of a clinical trial. TMFs are central to the inspection regime that oversees the conduct of clinical trials.  Phlexglobal offers an end to end solution to cater for all TMF requirements, from fully outsourced technology enabled solutions (known as 'eTMFs') to a range of ancillary project related services.


The number of active pharma R&D projects worldwide has been increasing at c.2% p.a., this growth together with increasing trial complexity has led to a rapid increase in the number of TMF documents being created. These drivers have grown the total addressable TMF market to be worth an estimated £700 million annually. The market is forecast to continue to grow at 5% p.a. over the next five years with an increasing proportion of the market being outsourced.


Alan Payne, partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: "Phlexglobal has delivered consistent revenue and profit growth. With the increasing emergence of technology in the TMF market, the company is now well placed to replicate its eminence in the services market to become the eTMF provider of choice and the leading TMF services brand."


Steven Kent, chairman of Phlexglobal, said:  "The outsourced pharmaceutical industry is experiencing strong growth on the back of increased R&D spend and more complex regulation. The Phlexglobal management team have already developed a close working relationship with BDC. We share a strong vision of how we can grow the business rapidly over the next few years by further enhancing our technology and services and extending our geographic reach to new customers."


For the year to December 2013, Phlexglobal reported revenue and EBITDA of £15.3 million and £4.5 million respectively.


Senior debt and working capital facilities to support the transaction were provided by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.


Advisers involved in this transaction included:


For BDC - Travers Smith (legal), DC Advisory (corporate finance), E&Y (financial due diligence)

For vendor - BDO (corporate finance), Gateley (legal).

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