British private equity firm Cinven has signed an agreement to acquire Labco from a consortium of investors for €1.2bn.
Headquartered in France, Labco conducts clinical tests and delivers results to prescribing doctors and patients, while offering assistance with the interpretation of clinical results through in-house laboratory doctors.
Founded in 2003, the group operates a network of more than 160 routine and specialist laboratories and 1,000 collection centres across seven European countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the UK.
Labco also operates a large portfolio of hospital outsourcing contracts in Europe, providing services to both ambulatory care and hospitals, and employs more than 6,000 individual and medical personnel.
Cinven senior principal Alex Leslie said: "Labco is a high-quality business in the European clinical diagnostics sector.
"This sector is growing strongly as a result of ageing populations, an increasing focus on the early detection and prevention of illnesses and the opportunities for healthcare cost savings.
"The volume of private hospitals outsourcing their clinical laboratory testing is also rising significantly."
Labco CEO Philippe Charrier said: "Labco has generated significant growth across Europe, so it makes huge sense for us to partner with a private equity sponsor with a strong European presence, a proven track record in the healthcare sector, including diagnostics and the ability to help us expand our operations and services across Europe and internationally both organically and through acquisitions."
Financed through Cinven's fifth fund, the transaction completion is subject to customary regulatory approvals.