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Dave Olson, Published May 30 2012

Judge clears way for Cetero Research deal

FARGO – A Chicago company that already owned many of the assets of Cetero Research will become the owner of the corporation by mid-June, said Dr. James Carlson, a founder of PRACS Institute, a Fargo company that eventually became part of Cetero Research.

Cetero, which conducts research for drug companies, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year following reports that chemists in the company’s Houston center falsified pay records.

A bankruptcy judge has now allowed Freeport Financial, a major Cetero debt holder, to purchase Cetero in a deal worth $80 million, Carlson said.

He is a former Cetero board member who worked as a consultant to arrange the deal.

Carlson declined to comment on whether he may end up having a role in the company once the deal is complete in mid-June.

Carlson described Freeport Financial as a group of bankers that owned property and other assets leased to Cetero.

Cetero continues to operate while in bankruptcy and Carlson stressed that the company will continue operating once it leaves bankruptcy.

“It’s still going full steam, and that’s not going to change,” he said.

PRACS Institute was established in Fargo in 1983.

It was sold in 2006 and merged with other firms to form Cetero, which is based in Cary, N.C., and has locations in seven cities in the United States and Canada, including a facility in Fargo.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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