Icon to buy division of Cross Country Healthcare

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 11:01 AM

Icon PLC plans to buy the clinical trial services division of Cross Country Healthcare Inc. in a deal potentially worth more than $55 million, as the Irish company seeks to grow globally and improve its drug safety consulting.

Icon, which is based in Dublin, said Monday it will pay $52 million in cash for the division plus an additional $3.75 million if some performance-based milestones are reached. It expects the deal to close within the next 30 days.

Icon provides development services to drug and medical device makers. Cross Country's clinical trial services division provides contract staffing and permanent placement services as well as drug safety work.

Cross Country, based in Boca Raton, Florida, said the clinical trial services business has been a "meaningful contributor" to the company for more than a decade. The company said it decided to sell it as part of a move to narrow its focus and focus on its resources on its nurse and physician staffing businesses.

Cross Country Healthcare shares finished at $5.60 on Friday. That is nearer their 52-week high of $6.72 set last February. Its shares hit a low of $3.80 on mid-November.

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