Epocal acquired for $166M

Courtney Symons
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An under-the-radar local tech company has been acquired after a four-year courtship from an American health-care firm, the companies announced this week.

(Stock image)

Epocal Corp., a provider of technologies that support blood gas and electrolyte testing, was purchased by Massachusetts-based Alere Inc. for $166 million in cash.

In 2009, the two companies entered into an agreement for Alere to acquire all of Epocal’s issued and outstanding equity securities, contingent upon the achievement of gross margin and other financial milestones on or before Oct. 31, 2014. The company did not disclose what those specific milestones were.

The $166 million included a $15 million payment for the achievement of the first two financial markers specified in the agreement, with the opportunity for payments of up to $75.5 million more if additional milestones are reached linked to the delivery of additional product offerings on the Epocal platform, according to a company release.

Epocal founder and CEO Imants Lauks would not elaborate much on the news, but said he expects the company’s 100 Ottawa-based employees to be “minimally” affected by the acquisition.

He said he was unsure whether or not Epocal would be rebranded as Alere, but said its product - called epoc - will retain its current name and branding.

Mr. Lauks said he feels the acquisition will be good for the company.

“We’re going to continue growing the company and growing the business,” he said.

The local firm, which has an office on Walkley Road, was founded in 2001 and has been venture-backed by Canadian venture capital firms such as Covington Funds, Genesys Capital Partners and MMV Capital Partners, according to the release.

Mr. Lauks developed technology in the 1980s and ’90s that led to the world’s first commercial biochips, the company’s website claims.

That technology led to the development of epoc, an enterprise point-of-care blood diagnostic system. In May 2011, Alere assumed distribution and customer support for the epoc product.

“Through its unique combination of novel diagnostic parameters and wireless-enabled technology, Epocal has set new standards in helping health-care practitioners in critical settings deliver better patient outcomes, all the while establishing clinical efficiencies,” stated Alere CEO Ron Zwanziger.

“These achievements are core to Alere’s broader mission of empowering individuals and their physicians with data that drives more responsive decision making and improved health outcomes, and we welcome Epocal into the Alere family.”

Alere offers products and services allowing individuals to improve their health and quality of life at home.

Organizations: Epocal, Covington Funds, Genesys Capital Partners MMV Capital Partners

Geographic location: Ottawa, Walkley Road

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