Clearwater International UK advises ProClinical on its acquisition by ICS

Clearwater International UK has advised ProClinical Limited (ProClinical), a leading recruitment agency for professionals to the life sciences sector, on its acquisition by healthcare staffing and services provider, Independent Clinical Services (ICS).

Since 2006, ProClinical has connected life science companies with thousands of highly skilled professionals that are required to continue innovative developments within the industry. The business works with a variety of organisations across Europe, Asia and the US.

ProClinical offers staffing solutions for roles across the entire drug or product lifecycle, from research and development through to manufacturing and commercialisation. The business has a proven track record of filling direct hire and contract vacancies for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and technology companies, contract research organisations (CROs) and contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs).

ICS is a leading provider of health, life sciences and social care staffing and services to the UK health sector. ICS operates in key market segments: provision of staff to the NHS and private sector for temporary and permanent jobs; managed staffing solutions and outsourced banks for NHS trusts; care and nursing support to people with complex conditions in their home; and managed health services. Clearwater International previously transacted with ICS on its acquisition of healthcare staffing provider Liquid Personnel, in 2016.

The Clearwater International team was led by Partner Marcus Archer, with support from Directors Ramesh Jassal and Wesley Fell-Smith, Associate Director Mark Maunsell and Senior Associate Finn O’Driscoll.

“At ProClinical, we have successfully expanded our high-quality services to life sciences customers across the world. We are excited about the future investment and support that ICS will bring which will enable us to build on this track record to develop new services on a truly global scale.”

“Clearwater International did extensive work upfront with ProClinical’s wider shareholder group to understand our business and more importantly for this process, the shareholders’ objectives. This meant that they were quickly able to identify ICS as the right partner for us and used their excellent knowledge of and relationship with ICS to help negotiate a transaction that met our objectives. Throughout they provided appropriate challenge, counsel and dedicated support day to day to ensure the transaction completed successfully. We now look forward to ProClinical’s next phase of growth with support from ICS

Dan Smart, CEO, ProClinical

“There is ever-growing demand for professionals with highly sought-after skills across the life sciences sector. With a network of seven offices across five countries, ProClinical complements the ICS life sciences staffing brand, Hobson Prior. The combination of two strong organisations will give ICS an excellent platform to invest and grow in the global life science staffing market. Through Hobson Prior and ProClinical, ICS are now operating in the US, China, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, Continental Europe and the UK.”

Richard MacMillan, CEO, ICS

“This is the second time Clearwater International have been advisors to a business that we have acquired. Clearwater International have always been constructive in their approach to negotiations, often providing a helpful insight into the key concerns of the shareholders which has allowed us to agree a deal that is beneficial for all parties. Transactions invariably have their challenges and this one was no different but the Clearwater International team provided excellent project management throughout the process which covered multiple jurisdictions and this was key to achieving a successful completion. We are greatly looking forward to working with the ProClinical team to deliver an exciting growth plan.”

Fiona Gleeson, Director of M&A, ICS

“Whilst deal activity has slowed in the recruitment sector, demand for high quality professional staffing agencies, operating in sectors with severe talent shortages remains strong, and shows no signs of abating. ProClinical and ICS are a great fit for each other and we look forward to seeing the future growth of the business.”

Marcus Archer, Partner and International Head of Business Services, Clearwater International

“The market for talent solution services in the life sciences space continues to increase, driven by continued drug development and the increasing influence of technology. Sourcing talent is a key part of keeping a competitive edge. The expertise provided by both ProClinical and Hobson Prior places ICS in a strong position to serve this rapidly growing sector.”

Ramesh Jassal, Director and International Head of Healthcare, Clearwater International