BC begins medical lab consolidation

The European private equity firm will combine German lab service provider Synlab with Austrian FutureLAB. Its last German deal was in December 2008.

BC Partners is looking to capitalise on the growing medical diagnostic sector, having purchased stakes in two companies it will consolidate and use as a platform for future add-on acquisitions.

“It’s a stable market, nicely growing,” said Ewald Walgenbach, a senior partner who joined the firm last year from Bertelsmann.

BC Partners will purchase Vienna-headquartered FutureLAB, as well as a 40 percent stake in Ausburg, Germany-based Synlab. Subject to “relevant competition authorities”, BC Partners said the firms will be combined and generate total annual sales of roughly €380 million.

Expected to complete toward the end of the year, the deal will see BC Partners control roughly two-thirds of the new company, which will have more than 4,000 total full-time employees.

Raiffeisen, Unicredit and WestLB will provide debt financing, understood to account for roughly 40 percent of the total transaction value.

BC Partners’ last German deal was in December 2008, when it purchased SBG Starkstrom, a maker of transformers for the power industries. 

The firm is investing its eighth fund, which set a European record when it closed on more than €5.5 billion in 2005. It is expected to go to market for Fund IX in 2010.