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3i invests €140m in Labco, leader in medical diagnostics

3i, a world leader in private equity, today announced that it has invested €140m for a minority stake in Labco, a leading pan European medical diagnostics network.

3i leads an investor’s consortium including TCR Capital, Natixis Investment Partners and CIC Finance, who have committed an additional €60m.

3i’s global network and experience in the Healthcare sector were instrumental to the signing of this proprietary deal and will be key in the strengthening of Labco’s leading position in the rapidly consolidating European lab industry. 3i will support Labco’s international expansion, funding accelerated growth in the company’s core markets: France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

Founded in Paris in 2003 by CEO Eric Souêtre and French Managing Director Stéphane Chassaing, Labco now operates a network of over 250 labs in 6 countries, providing quality diagnostic services to patients, General Practitioners and hospitals. Labco has experienced huge growth over the past 4 years having made around 45 acquisitions from 2004-2007 and 15 more in this year alone. 3i’s investment, network and knowledge will support management’s plans for further acquisitions and enable it to expand its service offering across its international footprint.

3i has introduced Denis Ribon and Richard Bishop to the Labco Board and Daniel Bour, former CEO of General de Sante, will join as Non-Executive Director. Daniel, brings with him impressive Healthcare market knowledge and in-depth expertise of a build-up growth story.

Denis Ribon, 3i partner and Head of Healthcare for Europe, comments: 
“Labco is a fast-growing, well differentiated, European leader in the medical diagnostics market with a first-class management team. In a consolidating market, the consortium of investors led by 3i has been impressed by Labco’s proven commitment to quality and efficiency towards patients and physicians. We are confident in its capacity to achieve outstanding growth in Labco’s core international markets.”

Dr Eric Souêtre, Co-founder and CEO of Labco comments:
“I am delighted with the trust and support of existing shareholders and welcome new partners in this next stage of development of our network. I am also confident that this financing round will open new growth opportunities in view of the current consolidation of the European diagnostics market. We will now be able to extend our network to new countries, to invest in cutting edge technologies and to provide high quality medical services to patients throughout Europe.”

This investment builds on 3i’s expertise in the Healthcare sector, as demonstrated by recent investments in Quintiles, Ultralase and Alpharma API.

Notes to editors

About Labco
Labco is the European leader in medical diagnostics. Labco’s network of clinical laboratories has grown since its foundation in France in 2003 to a pan-European presence in Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium in Q2 2008. All of Labco’s clinical laboratories are managed by independent healthcare professionals, all being partners of the group using common services to improve quality and efficiency. The network includes more than 300 laboratories, operated by close to 4,000 healthcare professionals treating more than 8 million patients a year. Labco generated €220 million in sales in 2007 and plans to more than double in size by year end. 
Figures: Labco is present in 6 countries, where 250 laboratories work with 4,000 healthcare collaborators including 350 laboratory doctors, referring to 15,000 physicians treating about 8,000,000 patients a year; laboratories, altogether process about 200,000 tests each day, among a catalogue of more than 2,500, 60% in ambulatory care, 40% in public sector.

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.

3i Growth Capital 
3i is the world leading growth capital investor across Europe, Asia and the US.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest up to €250m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders. 
Recent investments include SLR Consulting, €41m (UK), Union Radio Group, €225m (Spain), Quintiles (US), Venture Production Plc., €125m+ (UK), UFO Moviez, €17m (India). Realisations include Senoble (France), Alimak Hek, €238m (Sweden),, €350m (France), Williams Lea, €165m (UK); and Hayley Conference Centres, €510m (UK) amongst others. 

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