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Carlyle-backed Metropolis acquires four pathology labs
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Pathology chain Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, which went public earlier this year, said it has acquired four labs to strengthen its presence in Surat, Gujarat for a total of Rs 18 crore ($2.53 million) in cash.

Metropolis said in a stock-exchange filing that it bought Doctor's Clinical Laboratory for Rs 4.5 crore, lyer Pathology Laboratory for Rs 3.5 crore, Nagar Pathology Laboratory for Rs 2.5 crore and Yash Clinical Laboratory for Rs 7.5 crore.

The company, which is backed by private equity firm Carlyle, made the acquisitions through subsidiary Desai Metropolis Health Services Pvt. Ltd.

These labs offer diagnostic and pathological services, including high-end diagnostic services through automated technologies, Metropolis said.

Metropolis had, in 2017, acquired Gujarat-based Sanjeevani Pathology Laboratory to strengthen its presence in the western region.

Metropolis operates in 19 states in India with strong footprints in the western and southern regions. It offers a range of clinical tests used to diagnose a range of illnesses.

The company follows a hub-and-spoke model. It has a network of 115 clinical labs, 1,631 patient touch points, about 9,000 pick-up points and 552 assisted referral centres as on 31 December 2018.

Outside India, it has laboratory operations in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. In addition, the company has entered into agreements with third parties to collect and process samples in Nepal, Nigeria, the UAE and Oman.

The company, which started as a single lab in the 1980s, received its first external funding of Rs 35 crore from private equity firm ICICI Venture in 2005. This was followed by $85 million from PE firm Warburg Pincus, providing an exit to ICICI Venture. In 2015, the founding Shah family bought the 27% stake of Warburg Pincus for Rs 550 crore with the backing of KKR India. Later in 2015, the company brought marquee investor Carlyle on board when the PE firm bought co-promoter GSK Velu's stake in a controversial board battle.

In April this year, Metropolis became the third diagnostics chain to list its shares on the stock exchanges after Dr Lal PathLabs Ltd in late 2015 and Thyrocare Technologies Ltd in 2016.

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