Pharos Capital Takes Controlling Stake in TechLab from Alere (ALR)
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Pharos Capital Group, LLC (“Pharos”), a private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, announced it has acquired a controlling position in TechLab, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of rapid, non-invasive diagnostic tests for gastrointestinal disease. Pharos is acquiring its stake from Alere, Inc. (NYSE: ALR) as well as from TechLab’s founders Dr. Tracy Wilkins and Dr. David Lyerly, who will remain with the Company and maintain a minority investment.
Dr. Wilkins will become a board member and advisor to the Company and Dr. Lyerly will join the board and continue in his role as Chief Scientific Officer. From Pharos, Managing Partner Bob Crants, Partner Joel Goldberg, and Principal Joseph Acevedo will join TechLab’s board.
Alere will remain the principal global distributor of TechLab products following the transaction. Commenting on the sale of its minority stake in TechLab, Avi Pelossof, Alere Global President, Infectious Disease, said, “We are pleased to remain the principal global distributor of TechLab as it allows Alere to continue to provide TechLab’s quality rapid diagnostics in the enterics market.”
TechLab’s patented QUIK CHEK® technology delivers highly accurate results in less than 30 minutes. The Company is a market leader in testing for the C. difficile (C. Diff) bacteria, a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection globally, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimating 453,000 U.S. cases annually. TechLab products also test for other gastrointestinal conditions, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and E. coli.
Pharos is partnering with Daniel Delaney, an accomplished executive in the medical technology and diagnostics industry, who will become Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr. Delaney has served as the President of Alere North America and as a TechLab board member. He has also been President of Viracor-IBT Laboratories and Chief Operating Officer of AccuVein, Inc., a vascular imaging technology company. Earlier in his career, he spent 20 years at Abbott Laboratories with the Diagnostics Division and with Hospira, Inc.
Mr. Crants said, “Pharos is looking to invest in providers of key niche healthcare solutions and we believe TechLab is poised for rapid growth. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are increasingly penalized for hospital-acquired illnesses and are extremely motivated to help patients avoid them. Effective diagnostic solutions like those developed by TechLab improve clinical decision making and reduce time to treatment, thus providing cost savings for hospitals and improving outcomes for patients.”
Mr. Delaney added, “It is rare to have a medical test that can both improve the quality of outcomes and reduce costs. TechLab products do both, making them the clear market leader. In addition, TechLab is poised to expand the QUIK CHEK® product line into applications for other diseases. The Company is well positioned to meet expected future demand as rapid diagnostics becomes an ever more important healthcare tool.”
Mr. Goldberg noted, “We are very excited to be working with Dan, Tracy and David to build on TechLab’s expertise in this important segment of the healthcare market. Their vision, together with the distribution resources of our partner Alere, will ensure that the Company’s products are readily available to hospitals and commercial laboratories.”
Legal counsel to Pharos was provided by Gibson Dunn and financial due diligence was handled by Duff & Phelps.
This marks the seventh portfolio investment from Pharos Fund III, all in the healthcare space.
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