Labco: Funding from 3i and completion of banking syndicate

18 Mar 2009

17 March 2009 - Labco, Europe’s largest network of private clinical laboratories, today announces an investment from 3i, the leader in private equity and current shareholder in the medical diagnostic group.

Amounting to €65 million, this investment demonstrates 3i’s confidence jn Labco, even at a time of challenging financial market conditions. The funds raised will allow Labco, which has completed more than 50 acquisitions in the last three years, to continue a sustained rate of development in Europe, especially in Germany.

Following completion, 3i will have a significant minority stake of nearly 20% in Labco; the majority of which (59%) is however still owned by healthcare industry professionals. This investment by 3i is part of Labco’s funding programme worth €728 million as announced in July 2008.

In addition to this funding, Labco also announced the successful completion of the syndication by Crédit Mutuel - CIC and Natixis, the underwriters, of €300 million in senior debt provided to Labco in July 2008. The group's financial stability and its profitable growth have been crucial factors in facilitating the syndication process.

Mediobanca (Italy), Banco Espirito Santo (Portugal), Deutsche Apotheker, und Aerztebank (Germany), LCL (France) and La Caixa (Spain) participated in the syndication,as completed on 24 February 2009. The wide geographical spread of Labco’s banking relationships is testament to Labco’s pan-European presence and its European leadership in medical diagnostics.

Dr Eric Souêtre, CEO of Labco, said: “I am very pleased that 3i has shown such confidence in our strategy following our successful year in 2008. This will allow us to accelerate our growth and offer new diagnostic services to patients. We will soon be announcing a number of acquisitions which illustrate our determination to strengthen our European leadership in the growing diagnostics market," said.

Denis Ribon, Partner, 3i Growth Capital France and Head of European Healthcare commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the continued growth of Labco and to help its very high calibre management team execute Labco’s strategy. With this investment, and in the current climate where capital markets are often constrained, 3i has found many investment opportunities in leading SMEs. In fact, we believe that Labco will build on 3i France's successful track record of minority investing, including Transport Alloin, Senoble and Defimode in the last year alone.”

Participants 
3i: Denis Ribon, Antoine Faguer, Guillaume Basquin, Vincent Guillaumot
3i Legal Council 
Weil Gotschal & Manges: Jean Beauchataud, Gautier Elies

Contacts:

Labco
Anne Souêtre
Tel:  +32.2343.5557
anne.souetre@labco.fr

Brunswick 
Agnès Catineau
Tel:  +33.1.53.96.83.83 
acatineau@brunswickgroup.com

3i 
Kablé Communication Finance
Catherine Kablé
Tel:  01 44 50 54 75
catherine.kable@kable-cf.com