OpEx Awards 22: Asia-Pacific Lower mid-market winner – Pacific Equity Partners

Bolt-on activity helped drive growth into new geographical markets and therapeutic product verticals at Pacific Equity Partners-backed LifeHealthcare.

When private equity and infrastructure firm Pacific Equity Partners acquired medical device distributor LifeHealthcare in early 2018, it identified the opportunity to back a strong management team in order to scale “a leading platform in a highly fragmented market” and “expand its relatively concentrated product portfolio”.

Over the course of Pacific Equity Partners’ four-year ownership period, the predominantly Australian and New Zealand-focused LifeHealthcare moved into new geographical markets in Asia and into complementary product areas. This was facilitated, in part, through a series of bolt-on acquisitions.

Among these were Transmedic, a Singapore-headquartered medical equipment specialist with a footprint in seven South-East Asian countries, and medical device distributor Culpan Medical’s Australia and New Zealand business. The latter acquisition helped to extend LifeHealthcare’s presence in the neurovascular intervention space.

In rude health

In addition to its acquisitive strategy, organic growth was driven by activities such as expanding the company’s supplier base; enhancing distribution agreements through improved terms with suppliers and greater product coverage; and investing in systems such as a new enterprise resource planning platform to help streamline growth.

Today, the company’s product portfolio spans a range of therapeutic channels, including the spine, orthopaedics, robotics, plastics and reconstructive surgery, and interventional neurovascular surgery.

Australasian healthcare products distributor EBOS Group acquired LifeHealthcare for A$1.17 billion ($795 million; €800 million) in May 2022.

The judging panel remarked on the “impressive growth” achieved at LifeHealthcare. Pacific Equity Partners had a “clear strategy” for this growth, said the judges, which included the expansion of the company’s product portfolio, geographical expansion and “vertical integration via successful bolt-on acquisitions”.

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