LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”) today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Pace® (“Pace” or the “Company”), North America’s leading provider of analytical testing and related outsourced scientific solutions to the life sciences industry. Aurora Capital Partners (“Aurora”), a leading middle-market private equity firm and former majority owner of Pace, has reinvested alongside LGP as part of the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1978, Pace has built a nationwide network of over 65 analytical testing laboratories, 8 life sciences labs, and more than 45 service centers. Pace’s Analytical Services division provides full-service testing, sampling, and analytical support services to detect trace-level organic and inorganic contaminants in air, water, wastewater, soil, biota, and waste. Pace’s Life Sciences division provides a wide variety of testing services for the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, medical device, and drug device industries as well as early-stage drug development and manufacturing services with a broad range of pre-clinical and clinical capabilities for both small and large molecules.
“Pace has established itself as the North American leader in the analytical and life sciences testing industry, offering an extensive suite of services and trusted for decades by its blue-chip customer base,” said David Kass, a Principal at LGP. Pete Zippelius, a Partner at LGP, added, “Pace is uniquely positioned to continue its growth and capitalize on substantial tailwinds in its target markets. We are excited to partner with Aurora, Eric, and the rest of the Pace team to build off the success they have realized over the past several years.”
“As a market leader with a highly resilient business model, multiple avenues for growth, and world-class management team, Pace has been an ideal fit for the Aurora program,” said Randy Moser, Partner at Aurora. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue partnering with Pace and to work with the LGP team to help the Company capitalize on the many organic and inorganic opportunities we see across the business. We also thank Steve Vanderboom, Pace’s founder, for selecting us as his partner in 2016, and congratulate him on his retirement.”
“LGP’s expertise and experience helping industry leaders further strengthen their market position makes them an ideal partner for Pace,” said Eric Roman, CEO of Pace. “We are proud of what we have accomplished with Aurora and are thrilled to continue working with them and to partner with LGP to continue to build on that momentum.”
Houlihan Lokey served as the lead financial advisor to Pace on the transaction, and Robert W. Baird & Co. also advised the Company. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisor to Pace. Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to LGP. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Aurora.
LGP is a leading private equity investment firm founded in 1989 and based in Los Angeles with over $50 billion of assets under management. The firm partners with experienced management teams and often with founders to invest in market-leading companies. Since inception, LGP has invested in over 100 companies in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions. The firm primarily focuses on companies providing services, including consumer, business and healthcare services, as well as retail, distribution and industrials. For more information, please visit www.leonardgreen.com.
About Aurora Capital Partners
Aurora Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm focused principally on control investments in middle-market companies with leading market positions, stable industry dynamics, attractive business model characteristics and actionable opportunities for growth in partnership with management. Aurora provides unique resources to its portfolio companies through its Strategy & Operations Program and its team of experienced operating advisors. Aurora’s investors include leading public and corporate pension funds, endowments and foundations active in private equity investing. For more information about Aurora Capital Partners, visit: www.auroracap.com.
Pace® makes the world a safer, healthier place. For decades, Pace® people have been committed to advancing the science of businesses, industries, consulting firms, government agencies, and more by providing local-level service backed by a national laboratory network. For customers with in-house labs, Pace® provides a range of professional services to keep their operations moving forward. Pace® people work in partnership with customers by providing the service, science, and the data they need to make critical decisions that benefit us all.
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SOURCE Pace, Leonard Green & Partners, Aurora Capital Partners