GHO raises €975M for more European contract service buyouts
In 2014, London-based GHO began raising its first fund, which would close two years later at €660m (€564m). GHO invests in companies across pharma, medtech and outsourced services but the composition of its portfolio is skewed toward contractors.
Quotient Clinical was an early target. GHO bought the UK-based provider of early-stage drug development services late in 2015.
Under GHO, Quotient more than doubled its capacity and expanded in the US. GHO exited Quotient earlier this year, selling a majority stake in the business to private equity group Permira.
The story of Quotient’s time under GHO ownership is echoed in other parts of the portfolio. For example, GHO bought laboratory service business Caprion Biosciences in 2016 and supported it through a period in which it acquired Primity Bio, Serametrix and a laboratory from ImmuneHealth to expand in Asia and Europe.
Those investments and other changes drove a tripling of Caprion’s revenues, according to GHO. With this completed, GHO sold Caprion to private equity group Arsenal Capital Partners earlier this year.
Having exited two of its first eight investments, GHO has persuaded investors to give it even more money this time around. GHO partners attributed the almost 50% increase over the size of the first fund to the changing healthcare environment.
The partners said, “The significant size of the fund reflects the increasing maturity of the European healthcare sector and the level of investor interest and support for developing healthcare businesses that address global issues and trends.”
GHO has already begun investing the second fund. In February, GHO made large molecule bioanalytical testing service provider BioAgilytix the first company to receive money from the second fund.
Earlier this month, BioAgilytix bought Massachusetts-based Cambridge Biomedical, another contract research organization that specialises in large molecule bioanalysis. The acquisition gives BioAgilytix a presence in the biotech hotspot of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to complement its existing facilities in North Carolina, US, and Germany.
GHO’s portfolio also includes Envision Pharma and Validant. Envision provides evidence communication and medical affairs services to biopharma companies to support market access.
Validant is a quality, compliance and regulatory affairs consulting group. Earlier this month, Validant acquired DataRevive to further the global growth strategy it embarked on with the support of GHO.