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    Advent International, which bought Cobham, eyes Clinigen

    Advent International – the buyout firm that acquired Cobham for £4bn – eyes up £1.5bn bid for Clinigen

    One of Britain’s most successful pharmaceutical entrepreneurs could be in line for a windfall after it emerged the American private equity firm that bought defence group Cobham is circling the business he founded over a decade ago.

    City sources said Advent International – the buyout firm that last year acquired FTSE 250-listed Cobham for £4billion – has been working with investment bank Goldman Sachs and HSBC on a debt package with a view to submitting a £1.5billion offer for Clinigen. 

    Clinigen was founded by Andrew Leaver and his wife, Linda, in 2007 in Burton upon Trent. 

    Success: Clinigen specialises in working with pharmaceutical giants during clinical trials of key drugs

    The company, which floated on the AIM market in 2012, specialises in working with pharmaceutical giants during clinical trials of key drugs. 

    Sources suggested Advent has looked at paying between £10.50 and £11.50 a share for Clinigen but may have already had an initial indicative offer rejected. 

    One source said the private equity firm had decided against pursuing the takeover of Clinigen for the time being.

    If Advent does rekindle its interest, the Leavers – estimated to be worth more than £200million – will likely reap a windfall as they are still substantial shareholders. 

    Advent’s purchase last year of defence firm Cobham – a specialist in air-to-air refuelling technology – was controversial. 

    Clinigen and Advent declined to comment.

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