RALEIGH, NC—INC Research Holdings, a contract research organization, is merging with healthcare communications specialist inVentiv Health, parent company of public relations agencies Biosector 2, Chamberlain Communications, and Chandler Chicco.

The transaction values inventive at approximately $4.6 billion, and the combined company at an approximately $7.4 billion. INC Research shareholders are expected to own approximately 53% and inVentiv shareholders approximately 47% of the combined company.

The deal creates what is believed to be the second largest biopharmaceutical outsourcing provider, and a top three contract research organization. The public relations operations of inVentiv have fee income of around $90 million.

According to Alistair Macdonald, chief executive officer of INC Research, “Customers are increasingly seeking simultaneous approvals and product launches in multiple markets worldwide. Through this strategic combination we are bringing together two of the most innovative and respected players in the field to create a leading global biopharma solutions organization with a full suite of clinical and commercial solutions to address the needs of biopharmaceutical companies, patients, physicians and payers.”