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FIRST ON 3: Carlyle Group in exclusive talks to buy PPD

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WILMINGTON, NC (BLOOMBERG) -- Carlyle Group is in exclusive talks to buy Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. (PPDI), a clinical research company, said five people with knowledge of the discussions.

Carlyle beat out private-equity firms including Blackstone Group LP (BX), KKR & Co. and Hellman & Friedman LLC that bid or expressed interest, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the process was private. Most bids were between $33 and $38 a share, or as much as $4.3 billion, said the people. The stock jumped 18 percent to $31.51 on the Nasdaq Stock Market today, valuing the company at about $3.6 billion.

Carlyle is talking to other private-equity firms about joining it in an offer for the company, one person said. Rival bidders were informed last week that another firm had been given exclusivity to negotiate with PPD, said another person. Morgan Stanley is advising PPD, according to the people. The talks between Carlyle and PPD could still collapse.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS STORY: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-15/carlyle-group-in-exclusive-talk...

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