Cerba, Lancet are said to agree Africa deal for $123m

11th January 2019 By: Bloomberg

Cerba, Lancet are said to agree Africa deal for $123m

Photo by: Bloomberg

Cerba HealthCare SAS, the French owner of a global network of medical laboratories, is expanding in Africa by buying some of Lancet Laboratories’ operations for as much as 12.5-billion Kenyan shillings ($123-million), said a person familiar with the matter.

Paris-based Cerba will hold a 51% stake in a joint venture with the South African company that will operate in 11 African countries, said the person who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Cerba announced on Thursday it started operations in Africa after forming a joint venture known as Cerba Lancet Africa with Lancet, without providing details about the deal. The agreement excludes Lancet’s biggest operations in South Africa, it said in a statement on its website.

Cerba Lancet plans to expand into several other African countries by partnering with local businesses, the company said in an emailed response to questions. The growth will be funded jointly by the two companies and bank financing, it said. Lancet didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The joint venture plans to begin operations in five French-speaking sub-Saharan African nations and Ethiopia by 2024, two people with knowledge of matter said. The continent has the worst healthcare in the world, according to the International Finance Corp., and investment of as much as $30-billion is required to meet demand.

Cerba is owned by Public Sector Pension Investment Board, a Canadian pension-fund manager, and Zurich-based investment-management firm Partners Group Holding.