Rumors Link Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare in Some Type of Deal

Healthscope bids also fuel speculation of a big clinical pathology transaction

Last week in Australia, investment insiders shared rumors that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) was interested in acquiring Sonic Healthcare Ltd. (ASX: SHL). However, press stories discounted the possibility of a deal between these two billion-dollar clinical pathology laboratory behemoths. Neither company has issued a public statement addressing this issue.

In assessing the possibility of Quest Diagnostics acquiring Sonic Healthcare, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) threw cold water on the idea. It pointed out that Sonic’s stock price is trading at a multiple of 10.8 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). That would make Sonic an expensive purchase for Quest Diagnostics, since Quest’s share price trades at a multiple of seven times EBITDA. Further, SMH’s reporter pointed out that Sonic’s market capitalization of A$5.7 billion would make it a major acquisition for Quest Diagnostics, which has a market capitalization of U.S.$9.5 billion.


Health System Sells Centrex Clinical Laboratories to LabCorp

Consolidation continues in the lab testing sector that serves physicians’ offices

Last week it was disclosed that the health system which owns Centrex Clinical Laboratories, Inc. is selling its laboratory testing business to Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH ). Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare stated that it expected the transaction would be finalized by the end of the year.

Several times in recent years, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare shopped Centrex Clinical Labs to interested buyers. For that reason, news of the sale to LabCorp did not surprise informed observers.