Health IT

Big Data heavyweights IMS Health and Quintiles to merge in $23B deal

The all-stock transaction brings together companies with a combined enterprise value of upwards of $23 billion and current market capitalization of $17.6 billion.

healthcare big data

Two heavyweights in healthcare and biopharma Big Data, IMS Health and Quintiles Transnational Holdings, are coming together in what the companies are calling a “merger of equals.” The all-stock transaction brings together companies with a combined enterprise value of upwards of $23 billion and current market capitalization of $17.6 billion.

The combined company will be called Quintiles IMS Holdings and maintain dual headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut, and Durham, North Carolina.

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“This combination addresses life-science companies’ most pressing needs: to transform the clinical development of innovative medicines, demonstrate the value of these medicines in the real world and drive commercial success,” said Quintiles CEO Tom Pike.

“We are bringing together two best-in-class leaders. I’m confident that together we will make our clients even more successful,” Pike added.

But a “merger of equals,” can’t possibly bode well, can it? One of the first widespread uses of that term was the failed 1998 combination called DaimlerChrysler. (Joke as the combination was unraveling: “How do you pronounce ‘DaimlerChrysler’ in German? The ‘Chrysler’ is silent.”)

These two long-established analytics giants are going to give it a try, in the face of competition from well-funded upstarts like IBM Watson Health and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth and NantKwest operations. That’s despite the fact it’s not exactly an equal transaction; current IMS shareholders will own about 51.4 percent of Quintiles IMS, the companies said.

“Together our solutions will enable differentiation in the [clinical research organizations] market, advance real-world evidence capabilities and deliver comprehensive commercial solutions for our clients,” IMS Health Chairman and CEO Ari Bousbib said. We’re still trying to figure out what that corporate-speak really means.

“This powerful combination brings together leading technology and analytics with deep scientific expertise delivered on a global scale by our 50,000 immensely talented professionals in more than 100 markets,” Bousbib said, in perhaps a moment of clarity.

There may be more than strategic factors at play here, too. This from a Reuters reporter:

Photo: Flickr user Infocux Technologies