Apax exits Unilabs to A.P. Moller Group

European diagnostic services rival Unilabs, which has a strong presence in the UK, has been acquired by A.P. Moller Holding, founded and run by the Maersk family.

The news came as a surprise after reports suggested that the Australian medical lab company Sonic Healthcare and the French medical biology player Biogroup were among the top bidders, three weeks ago.

Unilabs operates more than 120 laboratories and 44 radiology units across Europe and employs over 12,000 people across 15 countries. Just its UK division generated revenues of £10.5 million in 2020, according to account filings.

The London-based investment firm Apax Partners had been Unilabs’ longstanding investor since 2007 – it first invested in a minority stake in the company and gained a controlling stake in 2017.

Steven Dyson, partner at Apax said in a statement: “The company has undergone a significant transformation which includes accelerating organic growth, expanding into new markets through strategic acquisitions and leading the digitalisation of healthcare, to become a leading provider of diagnostics services in Europe.”

Robert M. Uggla, A.P. Moller Holding chief executive added that Unilabs offers a good fit with the group’s purpose: “We are deeply impressed with Unilabs’ expertise within testing, pathology, and radiology. We see the opportunity to grow the company’s operations to new markets, offering important and immediate solutions to countries having limited access to critical healthcare solutions, such as teleradiology services.”

Financial details of the deal, which is expected to close in early 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed.

Unilabs declined HealthInvestor’s request for comment.

Date published: December 10, 2021

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