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Private Equity Firms Cinven, Astorg to Acquire LGC

NEW YORK – A consortium led by private equity firms Cinven and Astorg said on Thursday that it has signed an agreement to acquire life science tools company LGC for an undisclosed amount, subject to regulatory approval and other customary clearances.

Privately held London-based LGC is currently owned by global investment firm KKR, which acquired LGC in 2015. LGC provides customers in human healthcare, applied markets (including food, agbio, and environmental), and research and government with a comprehensive range of reference materials, proficiency testing schemes, oligonucleotides, genomics reagents, and instrumentation.

Over the last decade, LGC itself has acquired numerous firms in the molecular biology and life sciences research space, perhaps most significantly oligonucleotide manufacturer Biosearch Technologies in 2015 just a few months before the KKR acquisition.

Other LGC acquisitions in recent years include qPCR specialist Douglas Scientific; oligo synthesis firms Link Technologies, BioAutomation, Berry and Associates; molecular biology reagents firm Lucigen, and molecular testing reference standards developer SeraCare Life Sciences.

In the wake of these acquisitions, last year LGC's genomics division rebranded itself as LGC Biosearch Technologies with the intention of offering a streamlined product and services portfolio in the areas of oligonucleotide manufacturing, PCR and qPCR, genotyping, and next-generation sequencing.

According to its annual report, as of its fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, LGC employed more than 2,800 people worldwide and logged more than £387 million ($500.8 million) in revenues. Cinven and Astorg noted that LGC's life sciences capabilities brought them to the negotiating table.

"Cinven's investment in LGC was identified as a result of the healthcare sector team's focus on the life sciences space," Supraj Rajagopalan, a partner at Cinven, said in a statement. "LGC is exposed to a wide range of diversified and fast-growing end markets across the standards and genomics sectors and we look forward to working with the highly experienced management team to continue investing in strengthening and broadening LGC's global footprint and portfolio of leading, high-quality products."

Francois de Mitry, managing partner at Astorg, added that his firm has been "actively monitoring developments in the life science tools market, with a particular focus on LGC, for over five years, and have been very impressed by LGC's scientific capabilities and the resulting continuous organic growth."