Quintiles stock offering moves ahead at lower price

Pharmaceutical services giant Quintiles announced Thursday that the shares being sold by co-founder and chairman Dennis Gillings and other major shareholders have been priced at $52 each – a lower price than they were seeking.

The shareholders disclosed in a securities filing Monday that they collectively planned to sell 17.25 million for as much as $54.46, which would have reaped $939 million. The pricing announced Wednesday lowers their take by more than $40 million.

The underwriters also have an option to purchase an additional 2.25 million shares from the shareholders.

Quintiles shares closed March 7 at $54.11 but have fallen this week. Shares closed Thursday at $51.23, down $1.58.

None of the shares are being sold by the company itself; nor is it sharing in any of the proceeds.

Durham-based Quintiles issued a statement Monday saying that the offering “would enable our private equity sponsors to diversify their positions.” The statement didn’t address the shares being sold by Gillings.

Gillings is reducing his ownership stake from 19 percent to 15.6 percent with the stock sale, assuming the underwriters exercise their option. The shares he is selling will fetch $227 million at $52 each.

The combined ownership stake of Gillings and three private equity firms would be reduced from 65 percent to 53 percent.

Staff writer David Ranii