3i agrees Sampletest sale following successful growth strategy

30 Jul 2008

3i, a world leader in private equity, and funds managed by 3i, today announce an agreement with Labco SAS for the sale of Sampletest-Consultoría e Gestao de Laboratórios Clínicas S.A. (“Sampletest”), a leading provider of medical diagnostic tools across Portugal and Spain, for €220m.

3i first invested in Sampletest in October 2004 and provided further financial support to fund Sampletest’s acquisition plan.  During the course of 3i’s involvement with the business, Sampletest successfully carried out a buy and build strategy in the Iberian clinical laboratories sector, beginning with the buyout of Centro de Diagnóstico Fernando Texeira, a clinical laboratories chain with twelve operations across Portugal and Spain, and following this with a further 15 acquisitions across the region. 

Originally focussing on general analysis and basic diagnostic services, 3i’s global team of healthcare specialists has led a growth strategy to expand the company’s offering, enabling it to complement these services with more complex diagnostic tools.  Sampletest now offers a wide product range from regular tests to more complex practices such as microbiology, haematology, endocrinology and immunology.  The diversified product range has led to Sampletest seeing an increase in sales revenue from €16m in 2004 to €80m in 2008. Sampletest now has over 950 employees across 511 clinical sites in Spain and Portugal.

Labco SAS, a leading pan-European diagnostics network, is the ideal partner for Sampletest, thanks to its international network and access to a wide range of medical technology.  Providing quality diagnostic services to patients, General Practitioners and hospitals, Labco also has extensive experience in successful acquisitions having experienced huge growth in the past 4 years with 15 acquisitions made this year alone.

Abelardo Lopez, Partner 3i Spain, said: “The medical diagnostics market continues to experience considerable consolidation.  Today’s integration of Sampletest within Labco SAS will significantly increase the growth potential of the enlarged company in the wider European market.  Following a stringent and exhaustive sale process, 3i is confident that Labco SAS represents the best possible partner to help Sampletest achieve its expansion goals through providing access to its diverse range of products and international operations.”

3i’s global healthcare team has enjoyed a number of successful deals, investing more than €1.5bn since April 2001, in pharmaceutical, medical technology and care services businesses.  Current companies in its portfolio include: Quintiles Transnational, Alpharma, Ultralase and LHi Technology.

Advisors on the deal included:  Financial advice to vendor – Rothschild; Financial advice to Sampletest – Ambers; Legal advisors to vendors – Araoz & Rueda and Goncalves Pererira, Castelo Branco & Associados.

Notes to editors

3i Buyouts
3i’s buyouts business is a leader in the European mid-market.  We lead mid-market buyouts of companies valued at up to around EUR 1 billion, using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams.  With over EUR 8 billion of funds under management and an existing portfolio of over 60 companies across Europe, 3i Buyouts invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on business services, media, healthcare, consumer, general industrial and oil, gas & power. In 2006, 3i Buyouts raised Eurofund V, which at EUR 5 billion, represents the largest fund in Europe dedicated to mid-market buyouts. Recent investments include Druckchemie (Germany), Agent Provocateur (UK) and Global Garden Products (Italy) and recent exits include Giochi Preziosi (Italy), Coor Service Management (Nordic) and the IPO of Telecity (UK).

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
http://www.3i.com/

For further information please contact:

Leonie Foster
email. Leonie.Foster@3i.com
tel.  +44207 975 3044