CWS 3.0: February 6, 2013

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Clinical/Scientific Staffing Provider Changes Hands

Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (NASD: CCRN) is selling its clinical trial services business to ICON plc (NASD: ICLR) for $52 million, plus an earn-out of up to $3.75 million. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days.

The clinical trial services division provides contract staffing, permanent placement and other services. Its operations include ClinForce, with its headquarters in Durham, N.C., and Assent, with offices in Cupertino, Calif., and Solana Beach, Calif. The division also includes AKOS, a provider of drug safety services based in England.

The division posted revenue of $64.6 million in 2011, the most recent full year available. Cross Country ranked as the seventh-largest provider of clinical/scientific staffing in the U.S.

“We decided to divest this business as a result of an extensive review of our operations and the changing landscape in the pharmaceutical research and development outsourcing industry,” said Cross Country President and CEO Joseph Boshart. “Selling this business is a logical step as we narrow our focus and concentrate our resources on our core nurse and allied staffing and our physician staffing businesses, which pro forma would represent about 90 percent of our consolidated revenue.”

ICON is based in Dublin, Ireland, and operates from 82 locations in 40 countries. It has approximately 9,430 employees.

“The demand for flexible resourcing solutions continues to grow as biopharma companies employ a range of outsourcing models to meet their development goals more efficiently,” said ICON CEO Ciaran Murray.

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