Fisher Buys Lancaster Laboratories

Fisher Buys Lancaster Laboratories

Fisher Scientific, Inc. (Hampton, NH) has acquired Lancaster Laboratories, Inc. (Lancaster, PA) for $125 million. The deal closed during the first week of August. Lancaster had been owned by private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson and Morrison (Minneapolis, MN), which acquired Lancaster five years ago from Thermo Electron Corporation. Industry insiders say the bidding for Lancaster was highly competitive, and the purchase price is said to represent a substantial multiple of sales and earnings.

The deal brings together two companies with market-leading positions in pharmaceutical services: Fisher Clinical Services in clinical packaging, and Lancaster Labs in analytical chemistry and microbiology. The acquisition gives Fisher Clinical substantial capabilities in analytical services, something it has wanted for some time. It also gives parent company Fisher Scientific a bigger piece of the R&D spend of major pharmaceutical companies, where it is already a big provider of laboratory supplies and consumables and clinical packaging.

The Lancaster Labs deal is Fisher Clinical’s second big acquisition of the summer. In May, Fisher acquired McKesson BioServices, in Rockville, MD, and renamed it Fisher BioServices. BioServices provides biological sample storage and clinical supplies distribution services, and has major contracts with several of the National Institutes of Health.

–Jim Miller