HBI Deals+Insights / News

Plotting 2018’s lab acquisitions by revenue, cost and size

This week HBI assesses the acquisitions made by the largest pan-European lab groups in 2018 by revenue, the price paid and number of sites.

We’ve looked at each acquisition reported in the full reports and accounts of Cerba, Synlab, Unilabs, Medicover and Sonic Healthcare. Significantly, perhaps, Eurofins, despite making 50 acquisitions in 2018, didn’t make any in the medical diagnostics sector.

Cerba bought big in 2018, completing two big deals in France and one on the African continent, a JV with Lancet. The only other pan-European player to make a triple figure deal in France was Unilabs, buying Biopath in the most expensive deal this year.

The graph is interactive, so please hover over the bubbles for more information and toggle between the charts to see the acquisitions grouped by company and by country. Click the right-hand corner of the graph to go full screen.

The graph shows that the PE-backed players are still making a lot of small bolt-on acquisitions. Unilabs has made a few in the ~€10m range in both labs and imaging, and Synlab and Cerba are still targetting small French labs.

It’s no surprise to see the majority of M&A targetted in the French market and the high multiples that is bringing. But what is surprising is the limited activity in the German market where payor pressure is similarly squeezing margins. Uncertainty around TSVG, the new German law that may restrict external investors in the outpatient sector, is likely to limit market consolidation there for the foreseeable future.


We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Rachel Lewis or call 0207 183 3779.