Former Gen-Probe CEO Partners with PE Firm in Hunt for Buyout Deals

3/19/14Follow @bvbigelow

Carl Hull, who was Gen-Probe CEO when Bedford, MA-based Hologic agreed to pay $3.7 billion to acquire the San Diego diagnostics company in 2012, has embarked on a new venture backed by GTCR, the Chicago private equity firm.

Hull and Eric Tardif, a former investment banker who was a managing director at Gen-Probe, founded San Diego-based Maravai Life Sciences in a partnership with GTCR to roll up businesses focused on biomedical diagnostics and life sciences tools. Together, they plan to acquire companies that are aligned with their strategy, with GTCR investing as much as $300 million.

“We have a significant list of possible acquisitions,” Hull said by phone this morning. He said he left Hologics almost a year ago, and took some time off to travel. The Maravai partners already were acquainted with GTCR, which approached them about forming the new company.

In a statement released with GTCR, Hull says, “We are actively looking for acquisitions and believe there will continue to be a number of compelling investment opportunities in the market. Working with Maravai, we are in a unique position to evaluate and pursue these investments.”

Carl Hull

Carl Hull

Hull joined Gen-Probe in early 2007 as COO. He was promoted to CEO in 2009 and became chairman in January 2012, just a few months before Hologics’ buyout offer was disclosed. He previously held a number of executive positions at various diagnostics and life sciences companies, including Applied Biosystems, Ventana Medical Systems and Abbott Laboratories.

Tardif joined Gen-Probe as a senior vice president in 2009, after spending more than a decade covering life sciences clients at Morgan Stanley and other firms. At Gen-Probe, Tardif was responsible for corporate strategy, evaluating and executing all mergers and acquisitions, including the Hologic deal, and overseeing post-acquisition integration of acquired companies.

“We are very excited to partner with Carl and Eric to build a leading company in the diagnostics and life sciences industry,” GTCR Managing Director Dean Mihas says in the statement. “They have exceptional track records of thoughtful leadership and value creation. Their expertise, strategic vision and operational abilities make them ideal partners as GTCR commits to a platform in this attractive industry.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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