Sonic Healthcare to boom with $750m US acquisition

Sonic Healthcare to boom with $750m US acquisition

Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL) could become one of the world's largest pathology groups after reaching a binding agreement to purchase US company Aurora Diagnostics for US$540 million ($750 million).

If the deal passes the necessary anti-trust approvals, Florida-based Aurora will bring 1,200 staff including 200 pathologists under the Sonic umbrella with 32 anatomical practices in 19 US states.

In the year to 30 September, Aurora notched pro forma revenue of US$310 million ($431 million) and EBITDA of US$59 million ($82 million).

Sonic has also announced a fully underwritten institutional placement to raise $600 million, as well as a non-underwritten share purchase plan to raise up to $100 million from retail investors in Australia and New Zealand.

"The Aurora acquisition is an exciting and seminal step for Sonic Healthcare and we warmly welcome the management, pathologists and staff working in Aurora's outstanding anatomical pathology practices around the US," says Sonic's CEO Dr Colin Goldschmidt.

"The integration of these practices into Sonic's existing US operations, in conjunction with Aurora's management team, will offer Sonic Healthcare USA the scale and critical mass to boost the national promotion of Sonic's unique Medical Leadership model in the US laboratory and pathology markets."

The integration of Aurora will be led by its US CEO Dr. Jerry Hussong, with support from Goldschmidt, Sonic's global chief medical officer Dr Stephen Fairy and Aurora's management team.

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