Home / newsitem / Avista Capital Partners agrees to acquire Bioreliance Corporation for approximately $210 million

Avista Capital Partners agrees to acquire Bioreliance Corporation for approximately $210 million

New York, NY, February 13, 2007 – Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BioReliance Corporation, a business unit of Invitrogen Corporation (NASDAQ: IVGN) for approximately $210 million. BioReliance is a leading contract service organization providing biological safety testing, toxicology, viral manufacturing, and laboratory animal diagnostic services to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries globally.
The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2007.

Founded in 1947 as Microbiological Associates, Rockville, Maryland based BioReliance is a specialist provider of contract biologics safety testing, GMP manufacturing, and pre-clinical testing services, and focuses on the rapidly growing biologics sector of the pharmaceutical industry. The company provides cost-effective services to over 600 clients annually, including most of the largest pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in the world. BioReliance’s services and broad experience provide all of its clients with a cost effective alternative to the fixed costs associated with internal development and manufacture.

David Burgstahler, a partner at Avista Capital Partners, said, “We are delighted to add BioReliance to our healthcare portfolio. BioReliance has an excellent track record as a premier service provider and is a recognized leader in each of its service areas. With its strong scientific team and emphasis on customer service and functional excellence, we believe BioReliance is poised for continued success in today’s biopharmaceutical environment, which is seeing increased regulatory scrutiny and a shift toward outsourcing non-core activities.”

“For the last 60 years, BioReliance has pioneered many of the scientific advancements in the contract research organization industry and has built a solid reputation for strong regulatory expertise and innovative testing solutions,” added Larry Pickering, a healthcare Industry Partner at Avista Capital Partners. “As such, we believe BioReliance is in a great position to capitalize on favorable industry trends within the biopharmaceutical sector.”

Charles Harwood will serve as Chairman of the BioReliance Board of Directors. Mr. Harwood was previously President and CEO of Focus Diagnostics and is well known to the Avista Capital Partners team. Mr. Harwood stated, “We are enthusiastic about BioReliance’s future growth prospects and look forward to working with Tim Derrington, General Manager of BioReliance, and the rest of his management and scientific team. We will be appointing Tim the President and CEO of the new stand-alone BioReliance company.”

“This is an exciting time for BioReliance, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Avista Capital Partners as we develop a strategy for investing in new service initiatives to capitalize on the growth of the biotech service sector,” said Mr. Derrington. “Our forthcoming web-based iNet system, designed for electronic orders and results reporting, along with our commitment to developing rapid testing methods, will further enhance the customer experience and maintain our industry-leading market positions.”

BioReliance will be Avista’s third investment in the healthcare industry. In 2006, Avista announced healthcare investments in Nycomed (www.nycomed.com) and MedServe (www.medserveinc.com). While at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, the Avista partners were involved in numerous healthcare transactions including Accellant, Charles River Laboratories, Focus Diagnostics, KCI, Prometheus Labs, and Warner Chilcott.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal counsel for Avista Capital Partners and financing will be provided by UBS Securities.

About Avista Capital Partners

Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with offices in New York, NY and Houston, TX. Founded in 2005, Avista’s strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments primarily in growth-oriented media, healthcare and energy companies. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. For more information, visit www.avistacap.com.

About BioReliance

BioReliance Corporation is a leading contract services organization, offering more than 1,000 tests or services related to biologics safety testing, in vitro and in vivo toxicology, viral manufacturing and lab animal health diagnostics for the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. BioReliance has its primary facilities in Rockville, Maryland, Glasgow, Scotland and Stirling, Scotland. Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, BioReliance employs over 700 people globally. For more information, visit www.bioreliance.com.

About Invitrogen Corporation

Invitrogen Corporation (Nasdaq:IVGN) provides products and services that support academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide in their efforts to improve the human condition. The company provides essential life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery, and commercial bioproduction. Invitrogen’s own research and development efforts are focused on breakthrough innovation in all major areas of biological discovery including functional genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and cell biology — placing Invitrogen’s products in nearly every major laboratory in the world. Founded in 1987, Invitrogen is headquartered in Carlsbad, California, and conducts business in more than 70 countries around the world. The company is celebrating 20 years of accelerating scientific discovery. Invitrogen globally employs approximately 5,000 scientists and other professionals and had revenues of approximately $1.26 billion in 2006. For more information, visit www.invitrogen.com.

Contact for Avista Capital Partners:

Diana Postemsky, Kekst and Company, 212-521-4805