KKR in ‘advanced talks’ to pick up India’s SRL Diagnostics

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The discussions between KKR and SRL Diagnostics are ongoing, but could "fall apart," sources told Bloomberg.

Private equity giant KKR is in “advanced” discussions to acquire a stake in New Delhi-based SRL Diagnostics, sources told Bloomberg. The deal could value SRL at about 50 billion rupees ($775 million).

SRL, which bills itself as the largest diagnostics company in India, is being spun off from Fortis Healthcare, one of India’s largest private hospital chains, Bloomberg reported last month. Fortis has been in talks with other private equity players, including TPG and Bain Capital, Bloomberg said.

While discussions between SRL and KKR are ongoing, it’s not a done deal, said people familiar with the matter, as quoted by Bloomberg.

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SRL operates 356 laboratories, including large labs in Dubai, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It has more than 5,000 collection points, with 69 of them in countries outside India, according to the company.

It offers prognostic, diagnostic and monitoring services to other pathology labs, hospitals and patients, and also serves pharma companies and CROs carrying out clinical trials.

In January last year, KKR and Panasonic—of which KKR holds an 80% stake—closed their $1.1 billion acquisition Bayer’s diabetes unit and rebranded the company as Ascensia Diabetes. As for diagnostics, KKR invested $35 million in Signostics, which specializes in miniaturized, hand-held ultrasound devices for use at the point of care.