Syneos Health gets scooped up by private equity firms for $7.1 billion


The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, subject to approval of Syneos Health shareholders as well as other customary closing conditions.

Shauna Keough is president of U.S. PR at Syneos Health.

Syneos Health is being acquired by a consortium of private equity firms for $7.1 billion, the company said on Wednesday morning.

The group, which consists of Elliott Investment Management, Patient Square Capital and Veritas Capital, are buying Syneos Health at a 24% premium of the company's closing stock price on February 13.

The Syneos Health board of directors unanimously approved the deal and said it intends to recommend that company shareholders vote for it at an upcoming special meeting.

The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, subject to approval of Syneos Health shareholders as well as other customary closing conditions and regulatory greenlights.

“This agreement is the culmination of a comprehensive review of opportunities available to Syneos Health, including interest from multiple parties with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors,” said John Dineen, chair of the Syneos Health board of directors, in a statement. “The Syneos Health board of directors unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction maximizes value for our shareholders and is in the best interests of the company and all stakeholders.”

If approved, the network will become a private company and will be delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange. As part of the proposed acquisition, Syneos Health would continue to be based in North Carolina.

Syneos Health has been through a busy few months in 2023 as the company’s C-suite has seen a number of changes. 

CFO Jason Meggs announced his departure in January and is being replaced by industry veteran Michael Bonello, effective July 1. Meanwhile, Jeanine O’Kane was tapped as president of Syneos Health Communications and Shauna Keough was promoted to president of U.S. public relations in early April.

This also marks the latest healthcare play for both Elliott and Veritas, which jointly acquired health software-as-service company Athenahealth in 2018 for $5.7 billion before flipping it for $17 billion in 2022. 

Veritas CEO Ramzi Musallam said that the firm looks forward to “driving investment” in Syenos Health and enhancing its ability to “deliver innovations to patients across the globe.”

The deal was announced the same day that Syneos Health released its latest earnings report, marked by revenues of $1.3 billion, up 1.5%. Due to the pending transaction, the company canceled its earnings call, but CEO Michelle Keefe said she was encouraged by the financial results and the progress made on the recovery plan.

“We remain focused on our strategic long-term growth priorities, driven by our relentless customer focus and accelerated investments in our transformation and profitability initiatives,” she said. “Anchored by new collaborations with Microsoft and KX, our technology investments are enabling us to deploy ‘fit for purpose’ solutions specific to each customer’s needs.”

Syneos Health Public Relations posted 11% revenue growth in 2022 globally to $116.6 million, including $88.8 million in the U.S., also an increase of 11%, according to PRWeek's Agency Business Report 2023.

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