RLS (USA) Inc., (Radioisotope Life Sciences) has purchased General Electric’s (GE) U.S. radiopharmacy network, making it the largest pure molecular imaging focused firm in the United States. Capitor, a boutique global financial advisory firm, structured and brought the deal to investors, playing a critical part in the years-long negotiation and collaboration between the parties. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The radiopharmacies will continue to supply GE Healthcare molecular imaging products, with RLS leveraging a 10-year distribution partnership agreement. The now privately-owned radiopharmacy network includes a minority ownership by Perceptive Advisors, a $7 billion healthcare specialist investment firm based in New York.
The executive team of RLS is comprised of Chief Executive Officer Werner Gruner, Chief Investment Officer Jaco van Niekerk and Chief Operations Officer Shane Cobb. Mr. Gruner, who has served as executive in various roles within the international financial industry, including the founding of Capitor, comments that “I was intrigued and excited about the possibilities of this healthcare acquisition, beyond the financial aspects of the transaction. I have spent my career providing white-glove investment advisory services to global clients and always believed that customers, no matter the industry, not only deserve, but have a right to demand personalized, timely, high-end service,” adding, “that is why we focus on service, quality and disruptive technology as key factors in our investment strategy.”
The radiopharmacy network includes 31 pharmacies across 18 states, including its current headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Under the direction of Mr. van Niekerk, RLS aims to invest $2 billion over the next decade in expanding its footprint of pharmacies, while continuously investing in cutting-edge scientific and technological advancements. “We invested considerable efforts to ensure a seamless transition precisely because of our service-centric philosophy, including retaining key executive staff, such as Shane Cobb who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry,” stated Mr. van Niekerk, concluding that “RLS is committed to delivering life-saving quality diagnostics and treatment to patients across the nation. To that end, and in light of what we are uncovering regarding the potential long-term effects of organ damage caused by COVID-19, we have instituted a special task force focused on accommodating what could be a surge in demand for specialized diagnostic services.”
Almost five-hundred former GE employees across the country are now part of the RLS family. The company is expected to relocate its headquarters to the east coast of Florida in the near future and is in conversations with various economic development councils as well as municipalities.