PE Tech Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

Water Street Healthcare Partners acquires MarketLab

Water Street Healthcare Partners, a strategic private equity firm focused exclusively on health care, has acquired MarketLab, Inc. Water Street’s investment in MarketLab is the firm’s fourth in the specialty healthcare distribution sector and expands Water Street’s current group of health care companies specialising in distribution, life sciences, medical devices and services to 13.

MarketLab distributes unique products to the clinical laboratory, hospital nursing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markets. Headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan, the company directly markets thousands of products to approximately 11,000 customers including hospitals, integrated delivery networks, physician practices and clinical labs across the country. Water Street intends to invest its capital and health care expertise to build MarketLab into a leading specialty distributor across multiple health care markets.

“MarketLab excels at providing health care professionals with unique products that are difficult for them to find otherwise. It is highly regarded for its focus on its customers, particularly for providing them with products that make their jobs easier to perform. We plan to build on MarketLab’s strong marketing platform and distribution capabilities through an aggressive strategic growth plan. We will pursue acquisitions that will expand MarketLab’s footprint in its current markets, as well as extend its marketing capabilities into adjacent health care markets,” says Rob Womsley, partner, Water Street.

MarketLab was founded in 1994 with a focus on serving the clinical laboratory market. Over the past 15 years, it has steadily increased the products and services it provides to clinical labs, as well as to hospital nursing stations. In 2010, MarketLab acquired Newmatic Medical to extend its direct marketing capabilities to the MRI marketplace.

“I am excited to partner with Water Street to accomplish my goal of building MarketLab into a leader,” says Mike Bieker, founder of MarketLab. “Water Street’s team began talking with me five years ago about ways we could work together to grow MarketLab. Their strategic insights, focus on healthcare and network of industry relationships were instrumental in my decision to partner with Water Street. Our customers, suppliers and employees will gain significant value from this relationship.”

Water Street has completed 29 transactions since its founding six years ago to create and grow a diverse group of 13 health care companies. Earlier this year, the firm announced it acquired the specialty pharmaceutical company, OraPharma, Inc, from Johnson & Johnson. MarketLab is Water Street’s latest investment in the specialty distribution sector. In 2010, it acquired Medical Specialties Distributors, the leading supplier to the home infusion market. The firm also owns Sarnova, which has grown to become the leading national distributor to the respiratory and emergency medical services markets, after Water Street acquired and merged Bound Tree Medical and Tri-anim Health Services, Inc. in 2008.

“Our team of health care executives and senior investment professionals has proactively partnered with global leaders to build a core group of companies with strong potential for expansion in attractive sectors of health care. Our focus is utilizing our team’s extensive health care operating experience, industry knowledge and network of relationships to build our companies into market leaders of significant value,” said Kevin Swan, partner, Water Street.

About MarketLab
MarketLab is a leading distributor of unique and hard-to-find products to the clinical laboratory, hospital nursing and magnetic resonance imaging markets. It is committed to providing its customers with customized solutions that contribute to a better health care experience for their patients. The company is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. MarketLab is a company of Water Street. For more information, visit

About Water Street
Water Street is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on health care. With more than $1 billion of capital under management, Water Street is one of the most active investors in the health care industry. The firm has a strong record of building market-leading companies across key growth sectors in health care. It has partnered with some of the world’s leading health care companies on its investments including: Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Smith & Nephew. Water Street’s team is comprised of industry executives and private equity professionals with decades of experience investing in and operating global health care businesses. The firm is headquartered in Chicago. For more information about Water Street, visit


Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter