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Selah Genomics sold for $40M

Staff Report
Published April 21, 2014

Greenville-based Selah Genomics was sold to EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc of the United Kingdom in a $40 million stock deal, according to a statement from SCRA Technology Ventures. Selah is an SCRA portfolio company.

The acquisition includes a deferred compensation clause that could push the total sales price up another $35 million in shares depending on Selah’s future performance. Selah’s local management led by CEO Michael Bolick will remain in place.

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EKF first announced plans to acquire Selah in a notice to shareholders dated March 20.

Selah provides advanced diagnostics testing services for patient services and clinical research. Its main office and laboratory is in the Next Innovation Center in downtown Greenville. The company also has a clinical lab at Greenville Hospital System’s Institute for Translational Oncology Research.

Selah’s sales topped $1.3 million in 2013, more than double the $503,000 in sales reported the prior year and up significantly from $110,000 in 2011, according to information EKF presented to its shareholders. Gross profit was $312,000 but earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization were a negative $1.76 million last year. The company’s assets were $1.9 million as of Dec. 31, according to EKF.

The acquisition gives EKF a foothold in the U.S. market for personal clinical diagnostic testing, as well as contracts with pharmaceutical firms, including Amgen and Gilead, and Greenville Health System, among other beneficial partnerships, EKF wrote to investors. EKF also cited as an asset Selah’s laboratory certification under the Centers for Disease Control’s Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.

To assist growth following the acquisition by EKF, Selah will hire a national sales force to sell PrecisionPath, a test that helps physicians make treatment decisions for patients with cancer by identifying the molecular growth drivers of their cancers. Additionally, Selah will launch a portfolio of cardiovascular disease and obesity management assays recently licensed from Spanish firm Ferrer InCode, according to a statement.

SCRA said this is the largest of the nine exits out of its SC Launch program that invests in early-stage S.C. companies. In various forms since 2007, Selah has received four rounds of investments from SCRA’s SC Launch and Stage 2 programs.

The company was developed from advanced materials research at Clemson University. In 2009, Selah was sold to Lab21 Ltd. of the United Kingdom, but the local management team bought back the company last year. Investors supporting that purchase included the Massachusetts private equity firm Nexus Medical Partners, SC Launch, SCRA Technology Ventures Stage 2 and the Greenville Local Development Corp.

“SCRA Technology Ventures’ investment programs have a strong history of making successful placements in South Carolina’s technology-based companies, furthering the state’s knowledge economy,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “The Selah Genomics acquisition validates SCRA’s continued investment and support of the portfolio company and its management team. Throughout the past seven years, we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Selah and CEO Michael Bolick, and we congratulate him on this accomplishment. We are delighted that Selah operations will continue and grow in the state and look forward to many future achievements. We are also very pleased that this outcome generates returns not only for SCRA but also with co-investment partners, the Upstate Carolina Angel Network, Nexus Medical Partners and the Greenville Local Development Corp.”

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