Pharos Capital Group LLC has acquired a majority stake in TechLab, a manufacturer of diagnostic tests for gastrointestinal diseases, from Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR) and the target’s founders.
TechLab produces technology, like its Quik Check product line, that tests results for health conditions like E. coli, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and other illnesses contracted from hospitals in less than 30 minutes. The company was founded by doctors Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly, who will remain with the company and keep a minority stake. While both founders will join the board, Wilkins will become an adviser to the company and Lyerly will continue his role as chief scientific officer.
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Alere, a medical testing company, is selling its minority stake, but will remain as TechLab’s global distributor. As part of a partnership, Pharos has appointed Daniel Delaney, former president of Alere North America, as TechLab CEO. Delaney says TechLab is “poised to expand” the Quik Check product “into applications for other diseases.”
Pharos is a Dallas-based private equity firm that focuses on the healthcare sector. to improve patient outcomes and to help reduce the cost of care, invests between $20 million and $50 million in equity. Pharos made the TechLab investment out of Pharos Fund III.
M&A in the healthcare sector has been picking up recently. Similar medical diagnostic deals include Danaher Corp.’s (NYSE: DHR) agreeing to purchase molecular diagnostics company Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) for approximately $4 billion; Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) acquiring of Abbott Laboratories’ (NYSE: ABT) eye-surgery equipment for $4.33 billion; and Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE: ZBH) purchasing biotechnology company CD Diagnostics.
Duff & Phelps Corp. served as financial adviser to Pharos, and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher acted as legal counsel.