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Press releases

3 February 2016

Novo A/S expands its large investment portfolio through investment in Synlab and enters the European central laboratory services industry

Synlab Limited (‘Synlab' or ‘the Group'), the largest European clinical laboratories company, and Novo A/S (‘Novo'), the holding company for the Novo Group and fully owned subsidiary of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, today announce that Novo has invested in Synlab through the acquisition of an option to buy a stake for more than 10% of the equity of Synlab Group for an undisclosed amount.

Since its establishment in 1998 (and prior to its combination with Labco), the management of Synlab has pursued a consolidation and roll-up strategy of individual clinical, environmental and veterinary laboratories. At the same time, Synlab has expanded its operations internationally. Most recently, it combined with French-headquartered Labco SA when the European private equity firm Cinven acquired Synlab. The combined Group will be headquartered in Munich, Germany, under the leadership of Dr. Bartl Wimmer as CEO.

Synlab is the only truly pan-European clinical laboratories business operating across 35 countries in total with combined revenues of approx. €1.5 billion. Each year, Synlab undertakes more than 400 million diagnostic tests for close to 50 million patients.

European private equity firm Cinven announced its acquisition of Synlab in June 2015, following its acquisition of Labco S.A. in May 2015, and remains the majority shareholder in the Group. Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (‘Ontario Teachers'') acquired a minority stake in the combined Group in October 2015.

The investment by Novo represents another significant milestone for Synlab. As a long-term investor, Novo, along with Cinven and Ontario Teachers', will provide significant financial backing for the Group in the continued expansion of its operations and the launch of new diagnostics tests.

Commenting on these developments, Bartl Wimmer, CEO of Synlab, said:

"I am delighted that Novo has made this investment in Synlab, recognising not only the calibre of our business but its strong long-term growth prospects. I am also extremely pleased with the progress made in integrating the Synlab and Labco businesses. We are starting to capitalise on the opportunities for improved service levels and growth that this combination has created, bringing real benefits for patients, payors and employees."

Commenting on the investment in Synlab, Eivind Kolding, CEO of Novo A/S, said:

"It's a part of our investment strategy to back well-established and profitable life-science companies with a leading position in their field and good growth potential. The investment in Synlab marks an
exciting expansion of the industries in which Novo now invests, which now also includes interests in full-service companies within life science."

Providing further details on its investment in Synlab, Michael Shalmi, Head of Large Investment, Novo A/S, said:

"Novo is a long-term investor and we are very excited about the prospects for our investment in Synlab given the growth dynamics of the European clinical diagnostics sector and the high quality of Synlab operations."

"Our investment in Synlab underscores our interest in supporting the advancement of medicine and improved patient health. Together with Cinven and Ontario Teachers', we look forward to supporting the continued development and growth of the Group in the coming years, in line with the exciting business plan presented by the strong management team of Synlab, led by Dr. Wimmer", he continued.

Completion of the investment by Novo is subject to customary regulatory approval. Further details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Advisors on the transaction included: (advising Novo) - FIH Partners, Kromann Reumert, and PwC. (Advising Cinven) - Clifford Chance and Deloitte.


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