3i invests €140m in Labco

The diagnostics group has made 60 acquisitions in four years. With the support of a new group of investors, more are in the pipeline.

3i, a global private equity firm, has invested €140 million for a minority stake in Labco, a European medical diagnostics network. 3i is leading a consortium of firms including TCR Capital, Natixis Investment Partners and CIC Finance, who have committed an additional €60 million.

3i plans to support Labco’s international expansion, funding accelerated growth in the company’s core markets of France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

Founded in Paris in 2003 by chief executive Eric Souêtre and French managing director Stéphane Chassaing, Labco operates a network of over 250 labs in 6 countries, providing diagnostic services to patients, doctors and hospitals.

Labco has made around 45 acquisitions from 2004 to 2007 and 15 more in this year alone.
3i has introduced Denis Ribon and Richard Bishop to the Labco board and Daniel Bour, former chief executive of General de Sante, will join as a non-executive director.

Ribon, 3i partner and head of healthcare for Europe, said: “Labco is a fast-growing, well differentiated, European leader in the medical diagnostics market with a first-class management team.”

The investment increases 3i’s exposure to the healthcare sector, with recent investments in Quintiles, Ultralase and Alpharma API.