Potential sale of KKR’s LGC expected to produce $3 bln-plus deal

KKR is gearing up for a potential sale of LGC Group that is expected to value the U.K. life sciences company north of $3 billion, four people familiar with the matter said.

JP Morgan has been retained for financial advice on an upcoming process, the people said. A formal auction is expected to launch after Labor Day, two of the people said. First round bids are due late September and it’s possible a deal is signed by year-end, one of the people said. The process for London’s LGC is likely to encompass primarily sponsors and a short-list of strategic buyers, some of the people said.

LGC provides a range of scientific measurement and testing products and services. The company serves customers across the biotech and pharmaceutical, clinical diagnostics, food, ag-bio and environment, and research and government markets.

Led by CEO Tim Robinson, LGC has fueled growth through an aggressive M&A strategy. The company earlier this month agreed to buy a majority stake in Toronto Research Chemicals, a supplier of synthetic organic bio-chemicals.

In other notable M&A, LGC in November bought SeraCare Life Sciences, a supplier of biological products to the diagnostics industry. The transaction marked an exit for Linden Capital Partners and was valued between $200 million and $250 million, a source previously told Buyouts.

LGC in 2017 bought Axolabs and LINK technologies, while additional 2018 acquisitions included Lucigen Corp and Allergen Control Group.

KKR, primarily through the KKR European Fund IV, purchased LGC in December 2015 from pan-European PE firm Bridgepoint Capital.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the competitive auction for LGC was anticipated to command more than 650 million pounds (~$790 million), Reuters reported at the time.

Bridgepoint acquired LGC from LGV Capital in 2010 in a deal valued at 257 million pounds.

LGC’s inception dates to 1842, when the Laboratory of the Board of Excise was established in London to regulate tobacco adulteration. The company was privatized in 1996 and renamed LGC.

Representatives of KKR and JPM declined to comment on Friday, while those with LGC couldn’t immediately be reached.

Action Item: Check out KKR’s latest Form ADV: https://bit.ly/2SOAJdm