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Happy Friday night, Health Tech enthusiasts!

Situational awareness: Today at 1:45 p.m. ET, Fintech Deals reporter Ryan Lawler will lead an exclusive conversation with Plaid CEO Zach Perret. Register.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

New mountain capital prevailed in the process to sell Emmes from Behrman Capital, a government-focused contract research organization, three sources familiar with the matter tell Sarah.

Enlarge: Two sources say the expected deal is valued north of $800 million, implying a multiple of more than 20 times the company’s EBITDA in the high $30 million range.

  • Rothschild led the sale process alongside Baird’s government services team, as Axios first reported in February.
  • The process has become increasingly competitive in the later stages, sources say, with an IOI valuation of around $700 million, a source notes.

State of play: The robust valuation commanded partly reflects the scarcity value of large-scale contract research organizations as private equity remains keen to invest in pharmaceutical services.

  • Emmes is unique in that much of her work involves government contracts (such as with the National Institutes of Health) — a lower margin but steady clientele, sources say.
  • The Behrman-backed company has diversified with mergers and acquisitions across Europe and the United States, most recently adding clinical research capabilities in rare and orphan diseases through Casimir, its fourth deal.

The plot: Emmes Chairman Salvatore Guccione is the former CEO of Aceto Corporation, a specialty chemicals platform currently owned by the private equity firm.

What we are looking at: NMC has a strong track record in business transformation through mergers and acquisitions in healthcare ie. CIOX Health/Davant, R1/CloudMed, Equian, etc. — so as always, we’re looking at which strategic levers are pulled this time around.

NMC and Behrman Capital declined to comment.