NY buyout firm adds BioClinica, CoreLabs

JLL Partners, New York, says it has agreed to buy publicly-traded BioClinica, Newtown Square, for $123 million, or $7.25 a share. JLL plans to merge the medical-therapy clinical-testing firm with CoreLab Partners Inc., Princeton, which develops "medical imaging solutions and cardiac safety devices." BioClinica boss Mark L. Weinstein was named to lead the combined firms.

The per-share sale price represents a five-year high for BioClinica, which has been public since the early 1990s, but is still below its 2007 high of nearly $10 a share. Major owners include Princeton-based Covance, with around 2.4 million shares, and Wellington Management Co., with 1.5 million.

BioClinica employs around 530. CoreLab employs around 325. The impact of the combination on both companies' spending and employment is "to be determined," Morgan Dub Karpo, spokeswoman for the buyer, told me.

JLL managing director Dan Agroskin said his firm "will conservatively capitalize the combined business and look forward to supporting its continued growth."

CoreLab's controlling owner, Ampersand Capital Partners, will keep a stake in the combined company.