Partners, PSP Explore Sale of $3.5 Billion Labs Firm Cerba

Partners Group Holding AG and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board are considering options for French laboratories firm Cerba HealthCare, including a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The owners are speaking with advisers about options for the business, which could be valued at about 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter isn’t public. A formal sale process could begin in the coming weeks and draw interest from financial and strategic buyers, the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing and the owners could still decide against a sale, the people said. Representatives for Cerba, Partners and PSP declined to comment.

Demand for hospital and laboratory assets has increased amid the Covid-19 crisis and a sale of Cerba could rank among the largest deals in the sector in Europe this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Private equity firms have been active dealmakers in the market during the pandemic. Last year, CVC Capital Partners agreed to sell a major stake in Elsan to KKR & Co. and Ardian SAS in a deal that valued the French clinic chain at about $4 billion including debt. Ardian later entered exclusive talks to buy French medical laboratories firm Inovie Group in November.

Partners and PSP bought Cerba, which operates clinical pathology labs, from buyout firm PAI Partners in 2017. Cerba generated revenue of about 630 million euros in 2016, the investment firms said at the time. The company employs more than 7,700 staff, according to its website.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.