Investcorp buys Danish medical research company Sanos Group

Asset manager will support company's push into new markets and treatment areas

Bahrain-based alternative asset manager Investcorp agreed to buy out Sanos Group, a Danish company that offers clinical trials services to pharmacy and biotechnology companies.

Sanos Group has a contract research organisation that specialises in conducting trials for osteoarthritis treatments and a site management arm focused on a broader range of lifestyle and age-related diseases.

No value for the purchase was disclosed, but a spokeswoman said it falls within the company's mid-market range, where deal sizes range between $100m-$400m.

“Sanos has all the key attributes that we look for in potential investments. It is an entrepreneurial organisation with a clearly differentiated value proposition as well as a leading market position in a growing, resilient and mission-critical industry," Daniel Lopez-Cruz, Investcorp's head of private equity in Europe, said.

Sanos established itself as "the partner of choice" for companies looking to conduct clinical trials for osteoarthritis treatments, a condition that affects 240 million people globally for which there is currently no cure, he added.

"Leveraging its strong OA franchise, we believe that Sanos has significant potential for international expansion through new research clinics in the US – the largest market for clinical trials – and other European countries beyond Denmark," Mr Lopez-Cruz said.

Globally, contract research organisations generated more than $43 billion in revenue last year. The market is set to increase at a compounded rate of 8.2 per cent a year to reach $63.8bn by 2024, according to research company Frost & Sullivan.

As well as funding its push into new markets, Investcorp will support Sanos Group's plans to develop clinical trials for other therapeutic trials, it said.

Investcorp, which counts Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company as its biggest single shareholder, had $32.2bn of assets under management at June 30, a 15 per cent year-on-year increase. Its private equity arm had $5.8bn of assets. The Sanos Group buy-out is its 11th investment in the healthcare sector and its third in Europe, the company said.

“At Investcorp, we focus on investment opportunities in mid-sized companies with strong growth potential, solid cash flow, prominent positioning within their industry, and best-in-class management teams with a robust track record," Tarek AlMahjoub, head of Investcorp's private wealth arm in the UAE and Oman, said.

"We believe that Sanos aligns with all of our key criteria and we look forward to supporting the company’s growth and expansion.”