23, Val Fleuri L-1526
Telephone: (+32) 27 66 16 20
Fax: (+32) 27 66 16 39
Web site: http://www.eurofins.com
Sales: €2.97 billion ($3.48 billion)(2017)
Stock Exchanges: Euronext Paris
Ticker Symbol: EUFI.PA
NAICS: 541380 Testing Laboratories; 541713 Research and Development in Nanotechnology; 621511, Medical Laboratories
Eurofins Scientific SE (also known as the Eurofins Group) is a leading global life sciences company that offers analytical testing services in several categories, including pharmaceutical products, food, environmental, and agroscience. Eurofins also provides laboratory services and testing in areas such as forensics, genomics, discovery pharmacology, and advanced material sciences. The company has hundreds of subsidiaries that operate independently as part of a decentralized network. Collectively, these companies run more than 400 laboratories in 44 countries. Founder Gilles Martin remains Eurofins's CEO and chairman, and the Martin family is the company's largest shareholder, with 36.4 percent of its stock.
The importance of wine to France's culture, and to its economy, stimulated demand for methods that could ensure the quality and integrity of French wines. The use of certain substances, such as sugar and milk, was therefore outlawed. In the case of sugar, a natural component in the winemaking process, the ban on sugar additives was directed in large part to protect the interests of France's grape growers.
Given this context, researchers had developed a variety of analysis methods for testing wines for their purity. Among those working on developing new testing procedures were Maryvonne and Gérard Martin, a husband-and-wife research team at the University of Nantes, close to the Loire Valley wine-growing region. During the mid-1980s the Martins succeeded in creating and patenting a new and more accurate analysis method. They labeled the method SNIF-NMR for Site Specific Natural Isotope Fractionation Studied by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. The use of NMR technology enabled the Martins to examine the chemical composition of wine at a molecular level and thereby determine the nature of its components based on their atomic isotopes.
An important turning point for the company came with its successful expansion of the basic SNIF-NMR technique to a wider array of substances. By 1989 the company's range of testing applications included nonalcoholic beverages, fruit juices, and flavorings. The wider variety of products the company could test at this point enabled it to enter the food industry. By 1991 Eurofins's sales had risen to €1.4 million.
While making inroads in the French market for both wine and food analysis, Martin, joined by younger brother Yves-Loic, steered the company's focus to the international market. For this effort Eurofins at first targeted the creation of a sales and marketing network, setting up subsidiaries in markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Czech Republic. In 1993 it entered the United States, establishing Eurofins USA. The company's U.S. presence was boosted in 1996, when the Association of Analytical Communities officially approved SNIF-NMR for use in analyzing fruit juice. By then the company's sales had climbed to €3.5 million.
Rising food safety concerns buoyed Eurofins during the mid-1990s. The first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow disease,” in the United Kingdom sparked a panic in the food industry across the European continent. Later scandals, including dioxin contamination in Belgium, the presence of benzene in Perrier water, outbreaks of potentially deadly bacteria such as listeria and E. coli, and the contamination of cans of Coca Cola in France and Belgium, as well as the spread of BSE to the European continent, added to food industry worries. The discovery of genetically modified corn in consumer-oriented foods, as well as the presence of antibiotics and growth hormones, which are banned in Europe, further fueled the demand for sophisticated food and pharmaceutical testing and analysis procedures.
In response to this increasing demand, Eurofins entered a new growth phase. The company launched a series of acquisitions that continued into the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. In 1997 Eurofins made its first acquisition, buying Nutrition International and Product Safety Labs in the United States. This purchase whetted Eurofins's appetite for growth, and in October 1997 the company turned to the public market for capital to fuel its expansion, listing on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange. By the end of the year, it had expanded again, setting up its own laboratory in the United Kingdom.
Eurofins boosted its U.K. presence in 1998, adding three more companies that were subsequently merged into its existing subsidiary to form Eurofins Scientific Ltd. The firm also turned to Germany, soon to become its single largest market, buying a laboratory in Teltow, then acquiring the Institut für Lebensmittel, Wasser und Umweltanalytik, based in Nuremberg, and Labor Dr. Hallermayer GmbH in Augsburg. Before the end of the year, the company had also purchased a major stake in Hamburg's Wiertz Eggert Jörissen GmbH, later boosting its holding to 100 percent. This acquisition also proved significant in expanding Eurofins's range of operations to include testing for contaminants such as pesticides and mycotoxins.
Similarly, in 1999 Eurofins acquired the Alpha Chemical and Biomedical Laboratories, based in California, boosting its capacity for analyzing botanicals and nutraceuticals. Back in France, the company added the catering and pharmaceuticals markets to its list of clients with the purchase of Ecobio, near Paris. Another French acquisition, Laboratoire d'Analyses et d'Etudes Industrielles, brought the company to southern France in 1999. With two more acquisitions, in Paris and Poitiers, Eurofins became the leading food safety testing and analysis groups in France. By that point the company's sales had soared past €32 million.
Eurofins also acquired a controlling share of Dr. Specht & Partner in Hamburg. Reflecting the company's growing presence in the German market, Eurofins launched a secondary offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that year. By year-end 2000, its acquisitions included Celab AG in Switzerland and Gesellschaft für Arbeitsplatz-und Umweltanalytik (GfA) mbH, operating in Munster, Germany, and Orleans, France. This purchase enabled Eurofins to become the European leader in analysis of toxic contaminants.
New food tracking regulations encouraged the company to gain expertise in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing and genotyping, in part through a majority control of Germany's Medigenomix in 2001. That same year Eurofins carried out a DNA traceability study on more than 14,000 cows in France. The company also met the growing alarm over the potential presence of genetically modified components in the food chain with its genetically modified organism (GMO) detection system, GMO Platinum Assay. By the end of 2001 company sales had soared again, topping €127 million. That placed Eurofins as the fourth fastest-growing company among Europe's top 500 during the second half of the 1990s.
Eurofins continued to add to its expertise into the first decade of the 21st century, buying Okometric in Germany in 2002 and Genescan in 2003. The Genescan purchase, which added operations in Germany, the United States, Hong Kong, and Brazil, placed Eurofins as the world leader in the GMO testing market. With the 2003 launch of Aller-Gene, the market's first multiallergen polymerase chain reaction screening test, Eurofins positioned itself as a “one-stop shop” for testing services and procedures. The company had also begun developing an outsourcing arm, taking over the research, testing, and analysis operations for third parties, including a nutritional assay outsourcing agreement with Glon Sanders in 2002.
By year-end 2004, Eurofins had consolidated its position as a global leader in the testing and analysis segment, with more than 10,000 procedures in its portfolio and sales topping €175 million. The company counted most of the world's largest food and pharmaceutical groups as clients. Meanwhile, Eurofins continued to look for new acquisition opportunities. In January 2005, for example, it completed the purchase of a 25 percent stake in Germany's MWG-Biotech.
Eurofins's testing capabilities continued to benefit society in new ways during the second half of the decade. For example, in 2007 its laboratories analyzed a variety of products in the pet industry, when it was discovered that the ingredient melamine was causing the death of dogs and cats. That same year the company also partnered with MWG Biotech AG's Gene Synthesis Service to develop a new software called GENEius, which could be used for synthesizing DNA fragments in the fields of pharmaceutical and biological research. The company ended the decade by expanding its food testing capabilities in the United States with the acquisition of the food testing laboratory Strasburger & Siegel, Inc.
In another significant acquisition, Eurofins purchased Pan Labs from Ricerca Biosciences in 2012, giving the firm new early stage discovery capabilities in the pharmacology sector, as well as additional operations in the United States and Taiwan. The following year, the company made headlines when scientists at its Ebersberg, Germany, laboratory were successful in identifying genetic differences between “identical” twins. This breakthrough had significance in solving paternity and criminal cases, where DNA testing previously could not be used.
Eurofins's acquisitions activity intensified during the mid- to late 2010s. In 2014 the company expanded its capabilities in marine and environmental chemistry testing by buying the California-based US Calscience Environmental Laboratories Inc. for €14.4 million. Late the following year, the European-based specialty diagnostic testing firm Biomnis Group was acquired. Around the same time, the company's Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services arm introduced a new e-commerce platform, making it possible for scientists and researchers to order drug discovery products, including enzymes, proteins, and cell-based reagents. Eurofins ended 2015 by purchasing the NM Group of Laboratories, a food and environment testing firm in Malaysia, as well as the French clinical testing and hospital hygiene firm Biotech-Germande SAS.
In 2016 Eurofins expanded the geographic scope of its biopharmaceutical products testing services when it began competing in the Asia-Pacific region. This endeavor was accomplished in part with the purchase of ams Laboratories in Australia. In 2017 the company acquired EAG Laboratories from Odyssey Investment Partners for $780 million. In operation for more than 40 years, EAG served global customers in the areas of agroscience, biopharmaceuticals, and material and engineering sciences. The Taiwan-based Tsing Hua Testing & Analysis Co. also was acquired in 2017, giving Eurofins additional capabilities in areas such as noise, ambient air, water, fuel gas, groundwater, soil, and waste testing.
Eurofins began 2018 by acquiring the contract laboratory provider Craft Technologies of Wilson, North Carolina. The company specialized in analyzing phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, vitamins, carotenoids, and nutrients. Two other acquisitions were made around the same time—: the Belgian-based human medical testing provider Labo Van Poucke and PHAST Gesellschaft fur Pharmazeutische Qualitatsstandards mbH, a specialist in finished product testing in Germany. In addition, Eurofins struck a deal with Finland's VTT Group to acquire two of its subsidiaries: Labtium Ltd. (environment testing) and VTT Expert Services Ltd. (product testing). Midway through 2018 the company purchased the Dutch-based Insite Security to strengthen the Eurofins Digital Testing business.
Since its humble beginnings in 1987 with just a handful of employees, Eurofins evolved into an enterprise with hundreds of subsidiaries. Collectively, these businesses operated more than 400 laboratories in 44 countries in 2018. Moving forward, it appeared that Eurofins was well positioned to further its growth as a leading provider of analytical testing services.
M. L. Cohen
Updated, Paul R. Greenland
Eurofins has hundreds of subsidiaries that operate independently as part of a decentralized network. Some of its key subsidiaries include Eurofins Digital Product Testing Belgium NV; Eurofins Eaton Analytical, Inc. (USA); Eurofins Environment Testing Australia Pty Ltd.; Eurofins Food Testing Netherlands B.V.; Eurofins Food Testing UK Limited (UK); Eurofins France; Eurofins Genomics GmbH (Germany); GCL/Fundación Chile S.A.; Eurofins GeneScan GmbH (Germany); Innolab do Brasil Ltda. (Brazil); Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental, LLC (USA); Eurofins Advantar Inc. (USA); Eurofins BioPharm (USA); and Eurofins Agroscience Testing NZ Limited (New Zealand).
Bureau Veritas S.A.; Intertek Group PLC; R-Biopharm AG; SGS S.A.
“Eurofins Acquires 2 Finnish Subsidiaries of VTT Group.” M & A Navigator, June 5, 2018.
“Eurofins Acquires EAG Laboratories.” Professional Services Close-Up, September 24, 2017.
“Eurofins Acquires PHAST in Germany.” Worldwide Biotech, June 1, 2018.
“Eurofins Acquires the NM Group of Laboratories in Malaysia.” Professional Services Close-Up, December 6, 2015.
“Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services Launches New eCommerce Platform for Drug Discovery Products.” Health & Medicine Week, November 13, 2015, 1370.
“Eurofins Scientific Agrees Buy of US Environmental Testing Firm Calscience.” M & A Navigator, May 6, 2014.
“Eurofins' Scientists Discover Genetic Differences between ‘Identical’ Twins.” Health & Medicine Week, December 27, 2013, 270.