Parts of this article (those related to role in coronavirus testing for the USA) need to be updated.March 2020)(
|Traded as||NYSE: LH|
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||September 5, 1978(as Roche BioMedical)|
|Adam H. Schechter (CEO)|
Number of employees
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, more commonly known as LabCorp, is an American S&P 500 company headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. It operates one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world, with a United States network of 36 primary laboratories. Before a merger with National Health Laboratory in 1995, the company operated under the name Roche BioMedical. LabCorp performs its largest volume of specialty testing at its Center for Esoteric Testing in Burlington, North Carolina, where the company is headquartered. As of 2018, LabCorp processes 2.5 million lab tests weekly.
LabCorp was an early pioneer of genomic testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, at its Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, where it also performs other molecular diagnostics. It also does oncology testing, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) genotyping and phenotyping.
LabCorp's ViroMed facility, originally in Minnetonka, Minnesota until closing this site in 2013, is now housed in Burlington, NC and performs real-time PCR microbial testing using laboratory-developed assays.
LabCorp utilizes a fleet of eight Pilatus PC-12 aircraft on nightly runs from Burlington, NC for use on the East Coast. Prior to the acquistion of PC-12 aircraft LabCorp utilized seven PA-31-350's.
National Health Laboratories Incorporated began in 1978. The company was a national blood and pathology laboratory owned by the Revlon Health Care Group, and managed by Michael E. Lillig for seven years. Lillig had earlier been with Becton, Dickinson and Company. At National Health Laboratories, Inc. he grew annual sales of the company each year by 43%, with revenue reaching $12 million by the end of his tenure. Lillig then left to found several health-care companies, including Syscor, Inc., Intelysis, Inc., Asterion, LLC and MetaCyte's 3DR in Louisville, Kentucky.
National Health Laboratories, Inc.
In 1988, National Health Laboratories became publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Revlon retained 24% ownership of the common shares, for the next six years. Revlon had been a publicly traded company since the 1950s, as it was during most of its ownership of National Health Laboratories. But in 1985, Revlon had been taken over by Ronald Perelman.
In 1989, the company generated revenue of about US$400 million, with about US$70 million in earnings.
In 1991, National Health Laboratories moved from the NASDAQ OTC exchange to the New York Stock Exchange, where it began to trade under the new ticker symbol NH. Up until that time the company had performed very well, including through the 1990-1991 recession. Its earnings peaked that year at almost US$90 million, and its stock price had risen from its low within the prior few years by several-fold.
However, beginning in 1991 the company became embroiled in Operation "Labscam," a nationwide crackdown on fraud in the health-care system, initiated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego, California. The charges were that the company and others routinely submitted false claims to the government health-care agencies Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary tests which physicians had never ordered. In 1992, National Health Laboratories became the first of the companies to be prosecuted in the government operation.
In 1992, the company reported revenues of over US$720 million, however with earnings of only US$40 million. The small gain that year reflected a fourth quarter charge of US$80 million, which the company paid in a settlement agreement with state and federal governments related to the LABSCAM investigation. The total payments made by National Health Laboratories in the settlement came to US$111 million that year, and ultimately reached US$173 million.
In 1993, revenues were up to US$761 million, with new peak earnings of nearly US$113 million. By that time the company had 22 major laboratories. The stock price reached a new all-time high in 1993, which became the peak for the next couple of years, and the company was added to the S&P MidCap 400 list.
National Health Laboratories Holdings
On March 8, 1994 National Health Laboratories Inc. reorganized as a holding company, National Health Laboratories Holdings Inc.
By 1994, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. then owned the Revlon Holdings Group's former 24 percent of National Health Laboratories Holdings. That company was a distributor of licorice extract and chocolate, which had previously been taken over, along with Revlon, by Ronald Perelman in the 1980s.
On May 4, 1994, National Health Laboratories announced that it would acquire Allied Clinical Laboratories, Inc. of Nashville, Tennessee, reducing their takeover offer to $204 million after federal officials issued new subpoenas in an investigation of Medicare billing practices at Allied Clinical Laboratories Inc. In 1993, Allied generated revenues of US$163 million. The former President and CEO of Allied Clinical, Haywood D. Cochrane, Jr., then became Vice Chairman of National Health Laboratories. In order to complete the cash transaction, the company discontinued paying its dividend at that time.
By the end of 1994, the company had run into financial difficulty again, as it struggled through the economic soft landing that year. Its earnings dropped by over two-thirds, to only US$30 million. The stock never traded that year at more than half of its 1993 peak, and at its 1994 low, it was down by nearly two-thirds from the all-time high.
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
On April 28, 1995 National Health Laboratories Holdings Inc. merged with Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. and changed its name to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. It began trading under its new ticker symbol LH. Shareholders of National Health Laboratories received 0.72 shares of the new company, plus $5.60 in cash, for a 50.1 percent interest in the new company. At the time, James R. Maher was President and Chief Executive Officer of National Health Laboratories. Following the merger, Maher relinquished those positions, and instead became Chairman of the new company, succeeding the financier Ronald O. Perelman in that position. Perelman received about US$100 million from the deal, which made the new company the largest blood-testing company in the United States.
The merged company created revenues of US$1.7 billion. National Health Laboratories already held long-term debt of US$351 million. Together with the Roche debt, the combined companies owed US$590 million prior to the merger. Another US$288 million was added to help finance the payout to shareholders. By year-end 1995, the new company's total debt reached US$959 million.
Roche Biomedical Laboratories had been created by and was a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., the American arm of the Swiss medical conglomerate, Roche Holding, Limited. Before 1982, the core of Roche Biomedical Laboratories had been Biomedical Reference Laboratories, which dated from the late 1960s, and was located in Burlington, North Carolina. That core company had become publicly traded in 1979. Hoffman-La Roche acquired it for US$163.5 million in 1982 and then merged it with all of its laboratories, and incorporated the merged company that year as Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. in Burlington. By the early 1990s, Roche Biomedical had become one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the United States, with US$600 million in sales.
By 1993 Roche Biomedical Laboratories had revenues of US$712 million, with 17 major laboratories. Dr. James Powell was President of Roche Biomedical, and after the merger with National Health Laboratories he became President and CEO of the new company, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, which then relocated from La Jolla, California to the Roche Biomedical headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina. Hoffmann-La Roche also contributed US$186.7 million in cash to the deal, and retained 49.9 interest in the new merged company.
By year-end 1995, the new Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings suffered a marginal loss of a few million dollars. The stock price dropped by almost half again through the year, to within 10% of its all-time low since going public a half dozen years earlier. By early the next year, it broke marginally below that level, and set a new all-time low.
In July 1998, LabCorp acquired the Michigan-based laboratory division of Universal Standard Healthcare (UHCI). LabCorp also acquired an equity position in Universal Standard Healthcare and has become UHCI's clinical laboratory long-term testing provider but terminated this agreement one year later.
In 2000, LabCorp generated revenues of US$1.9 billion with over 18,000 employees.
In May 2001, LabCorp completed its acquisition of Path Lab Holdings Inc., the largest regional laboratory in New England, and just a few weeks later the acquisition of Minneapolis-based ViroMed Inc., specialized on clinical diagnostic testing in virology, molecular biology, serology, microbiology, mycology and mycobacteriology, as well as in tissue/eye bank testing, for an undisclosed amount.
In 2005, LabCorp's revenues totaled $3.3 billion; in 2006, revenues were $3.6 billion; and in 2007, revenues reached $4.1 billion.
In March 2005, LabCorp announced the acquisition of all outstanding Shares of Esoterix, Inc., a leading provider of specialty reference testing, for approximately $150 million in cash from private equity firm Behrman Capital.
In December 2007, LabCorp acquired Tandem Labs, a Contract research organization specializing in advanced mass spectrometry, immunoanalytical support, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT for an undisclosed amount.
In June 2009, LabCorp acquired Monogram Biosciences, a diagnostic lab specializing in HIV resistance testing, headquartered in South San Francisco, CA, in a cash tender of $4.55 per share for approximately $155 million including debt.
In May 2010, LabCorp acquired the assets of its Santa Ana, California-based rival Westcliff Medical Laboratory which had just filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy action in federal court. The FTC challenged this acquisition but lost in court.
In June 2011, LabCorp acquired their Canadian central labs partner Clearstone from investment firm Czura Thornton for an undisclosed amount, thus adding Clearstone's global network of central laboratories, including sites in China, France, Singapore and Canada, and the central laboratory protocol management system APOLLO CLPM to their portfolio.
In November 2011, LabCorp completed the acquisition of more than 90% of the shares of DNA testing company Orchid Cellmark for $85 million but had to sell parts of Orchid's paternity business to DNA Diagnostics Center.
In August 2012, LabCorp completed the acquisition of rival testing lab Medtox Scientific for $241 million.
In October 2014, LabCorp announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Covance Inc. for approximately $6.1 billion. Just a few weeks later, LabCorp completed its $85.3 million acquisition of LipoScience, a developer of diagnostic tests based on nuclear magnetic resonance technology measuring heart disease risk.
In December 2014, LabCorp announced the completion of its acquisition of Bode Technology Group, Inc., a provider of forensic DNA analysis, DNA collection products, and relationship testing, from SolutionPoint International, Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Bode was described in 2019 as the largest DNA forensic testing company in the USA.
In October 2015, LabCorp announced the acquisition of Safe Foods International Holdings, LLC and its two operating companies, International Food Network and The National Food Laboratory for an undisclosed amount, thus expanding their capabilities in food and beverage product-development and product-integrity.
In March 2016, LabCorp completed the acquisition of Torrance, CA-based laboratory firm Pathology Inc., a provider of expertise in reproductive FDA donor testing as well as anatomic, molecular and digital pathology services, for an undisclosed amount.
In October 2016, LabCorp acquired ClearPath Diagnostics, a provider of laboratory diagnostic services in the Northeastern United States, from private equity firm Shore Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount.
In May 2017, LabCorp acquired the Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories in Spokane, WA from Providence Health & Services and Catholic Health Initiatives for an undisclosed sum.
In July 2017, LabCorp acquired the contract research organisation (CRO) Chiltern for $1.2 Billion.
LabCorp is one of the six large commercial lab companies that are conducting most of the United States' coronavirus testing, along with ARUP, BioReference Laboratories, Mayo Clinic, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare. According to the American Clinical Laboratory Association, by April 1, together these laboratories had completed 807,000 COVID-19 tests.
LabCorp has been criticized for its practice of paying the salaries of genetic counselors in hospitals and doctors' offices, which is perceived to be a possible conflict of interest.
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