Cisbio Bioassays has changed hands from one private equity firm to another, with Argos Soditic selling the tools and technologies company to Abénex for an undisclosed price, Cisbio and the firms said today.

Cisbio develops and markets products and technologies used for in vitro diagnostics and drug discovery. Under Abénex, Cisbio is pursuing new industrial partnerships to foster growth, notably through acquisitions, the companies said.

“Cisbio Bioassays aims at conquering new positions in pharmaceutical research solutions. Abénex will support its organic and external growth projects in this sector as well as in in vitro diagnostics,” Abénex Director Antoine Schouman said in a statement.

The acquisition of Cisbio represents Abénex’s 60th investment in France, which the firm will carry out through its Abénex V fund, raised in 2015, Schouman added.

Cisbio originated as part of the French Atomic Energy Commission or CEA, and was later controlled by Schering (Bayer), then IBA, before spinning off into an independent company in 2013 following a management buyout led by Argos Soditic.

Argos Soditic oversaw the company's transformation, designed to strengthen sales, marketing, and R&D, resulting in the recruitment of nearly 65 people, among Cisbio’s current 210 staff members. Nearly 40 other staffers focus on R&D, on which the company spends more than 10% of its revenue, with additional “significant” resources spent in recent years on information systems and organization, Argos Soditic added.

Already established in the U.S. and China, Cisbio expanded its international presence under Argos Soditic by establishing a Japanese subsidiary and by structuring its distributors’ network. Cisbio said it now generates more than 85% of its revenues outside of France, where the company is headquartered in Codolet.


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