With a $300M buyout fund, Maravai sets out to make a biotech splash

Private equity outfit GTCR has recruited two industry veterans and put up $300 million to create Maravai Life Sciences, a buyout-focused firm out to make some deals.

Fresh off closing a $3.3 billion oversubscribed fund, GTCR is launching Maravai alongside Carl Hull, a former med tech CEO with 30 years experience in the industry, and Eric Tardif, an ex-Morgan Stanley exec with experience managing diagnostics M&A. The plan is to buy companies primarily in in vitro testing, lab services and life sciences tools, accelerating their growth through investment and bolt-on deals, according to Maravai.

And for Hull, boosting the value of diagnostics companies is hardly a new endeavor. Most recently, he served as the CEO of Gen-Probe, a women's health-focused testing outfit bought by Hologic ($HOLX) for $3.7 billion last year. Before that, he had leadership roles at Ventana Medical Systems, which Roche ($RHHBY) acquired for $3.4 billion, and Applied Biosystems, the company that became Life Technologies through a $6.7 billion merger.

Now he's out to do the same for some smaller operations. Maravai is on the hunt for revenue-generating companies with operating earnings above $15 million, looking to shepherd their growth and create value. GTCR, now on its 11th fund, has quite an established track record of doing just that, Hull said, dovetailing with his expertise across the life sciences spectrum.

"From my perspective, I've had the opportunity to work in the traditional diagnostics business, in life sciences and at research companies," Hull told FierceBiotech. "It's that range of experience that makes me comfortable with this kind of opportunity to assess and look at technologies and businesses across the industry."

Maravai doesn't have a set timeline for lining up deals, but Hull said the group is already in the thick of vetting targets and working through due diligences.

"We're going to be patient and disciplined," he said. "We're really going to look for the right opportunities and make intelligent decisions to build a compelling company, but a compelling company that has a long-term focus."

- read the announcement