Water Street Invests in Orgentec Diagnostika

Health Care Firm Partners with European Specialty Diagnostics Company; Former Beckman Coulter Chairman & CEO to Serve as Chairman

CHICAGO - Water Street Healthcare Partners, a strategic investor focused exclusively on the health care industry, announced today that it has invested in Orgentec Diagnostika, a specialty diagnostics company headquartered in Mainz, Germany.  Water Street has committed equity to both acquire a majority position in Orgentec and invest in future acquisitions and initiatives that will build the company into a global leader of specialty diagnostics products.  Scott Garrett, former chairman and CEO of Beckman Coulter, Inc. and a senior operating partner with Water Street, will serve as chairman of Orgentec.

Orgentec specializes in diagnostic assays for autoimmune and infectious diseases.  The company offers a portfolio of more than 300 tests, primarily enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), that help diagnose rheumatology, thrombosis and gastroenterology disorders, as well as infectious diseases.   It also offers a fully automated instrument and associated test kits that enable laboratories to complete multiple assays and deliver faster results than traditional ELISA tests.  Orgentec has a well-established position in Europe and a growing presence in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Dr. Wigbert Berg, who co-founded Orgentec in 1988, said, “I’m excited to work with Water Street to expand Orgentec into new areas of testing and increase our presence in emerging markets.  Water Street has incredibly deep knowledge and extensive relationships in our industry.  Its team has worked closely with us to create a plan that supports our goal of thoughtfully growing Orgentec into a global leader that will bring greater value to our customers and employees.”

Dr. Berg will maintain an ownership position in Orgentec and serve on the company’s board of directors.  He and Water Street have appointed Werner Hofacher, an executive with more than 30 years of experience in the diagnostics industry, to serve as CEO.  Mr. Hofacher most recently led European operations for Beckman Coulter, Inc. and previously held leadership positions at Baxter and Dade Behring.

“It is an honor to be selected by Dr. Berg and Water Street to build on Orgentec’s history of success.  For more than 25 years, the company has led the industry in developing new tests for complex diseases that were previously difficult to diagnose,” said Mr. Hofacher.  “With Water Street’s support, we have a unique opportunity to expand Orgentec’s global position and to grow its portfolio of tests to help providers detect rare conditions and positively impact millions of lives.”

In the past three years, Orgentec has launched more than 30 new assays. The company recently was awarded a grant to participate in EuroTeam, a joint research project for arthritis management, to develop new approaches to predict the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.  It also has new technology in development that will enable labs to simultaneously run multiple tests and turn around results more quickly than they can today. 

“Water Street’s focus is collaborating with leaders of companies who want to build market leaders,” Said Mr. Garrett. “We are pleased that our ongoing discussions with Dr. Berg on new strategies to grow Orgentec helped lead to this partnership.  Together, we will invest in research and development initiatives and pursue targeted acquisitions that will accelerate Orgentec’s innovation and global expansion.”

Orgentec is Water Street’s third investment in a European-based business and third new investment in the past six weeks.  Last month, Water Street signed agreements to acquire CHS Health Services and Take Care Employer Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of Walgreens.  The firm has completed nearly 50 transactions to create and grow a diverse group of market-leading health care companies since its founding in 2005. 

Water Street is continuing to seek new opportunities to partner with middle-market companies interested in achieving next-level growth and corporations considering divesting non-core health care businesses.  The firm targets investments ranging from $50 to $500 million in four health care sectors: specialty distribution, medical and diagnostic products, health care services, and pharmaceutical products and services.

About Water Street
Water Street is a strategic investor focused exclusively on health care. The firm has a strong record of building market-leading companies across key growth sectors in health care. It has worked with some of the world’s leading health care companies on its investments including Gentiva, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Smith & Nephew. Water Street’s team is comprised of industry executives and private equity professionals with decades of experience investing in and operating global health care businesses. The firm is headquartered in Chicago. For more information about Water Street, visit waterstreet.com.


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