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KKR & Co., the private-equity firm run by billionaires Henry Kravis and George Roberts, agreed to buy U.S. clinical-research company PRA International from Genstar Capital LLC.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, North Carolina-based PRA said in an e-mailed statement today. The purchase price was $1.3 billion, according to a person briefed on the matter who asked not to be identified because the terms haven’t been disclosed publicly.

Genstar, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, bought PRA, which helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies develop prescription drugs, for $790 million in December 2007. New York-based KKR has invested more than $9 billion in health care globally since 1995, including its acquisition with Bain Capital LLC and Merrill Lynch & Co. of HCA Inc. in 2006 for $32 billion.

PRA is “one of the fastest growing companies” in the contract-research organization industry, Jim Momtazee, head of KKR’s health care investing team, said in the statement. “PRA management and KKR share the common ambition of building on this platform by continually improving service offerings to clients.”

Credit Suisse Group AG, Jefferies Group LLC, UBS AG, and KKR Capital Markets are arranging debt financing for the deal, PRA said in the statement. Jefferies acted as financial adviser to PRA with Latham & Watkins LLP acting as legal adviser.

Credit Suisse, UBS and Wells Fargo & Co. advised KKR, with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP serving as legal counsel.

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