Gulf Coast Analytical Labs bought by 3Stone Advisors, internal management group

Gulf Coast Analytical Laboratories (GCAL), one of the largest single-facility environmental laboratories in the country, announced its sale Friday to 3Stone Advisors LLC and a group of internal managers. As one of the 20 environmental laboratories with annual revenues above $10 million nationally, GCAL intends to leverage its strong record of growth and quality leadership in the Gulf Coast region to provide its services to more customers in new areas of the country...

BATON ROUGE, LA, Jan. 15, 2007 -- Gulf Coast Analytical Laboratories (GCAL), one of the largest single-facility environmental laboratories in the country, announced its sale Friday to 3Stone Advisors LLC and a group of internal managers. As one of the 20 environmental laboratories with annual revenues above $10 million nationally, GCAL intends to leverage its strong record of growth and quality leadership in the Gulf Coast region to provide its services to more customers in new areas of the country.

Charles "Pat" Byrne, who will continue both as an owner and as Chief Executive of the company said, "We have been looking for the right kind of partner to help support our growth strategy and geographic expansion. Along with the operational and acquisition experience of its principals, 3Stone's extensive capital resources and market focus will help us achieve those growth objectives."

Christoph Lueneburger, principal and leader of 3Stone's water investment practice, said, "Our focus on the water industry has fueled our interest in environmental laboratories, and having evaluated a broad spectrum of potential opportunities, we are excited to partner with GCAL. We believe that the company's outstanding leadership team and proven excellence in data management creates unparalleled value for GCAL's customers."

Joining Lueneburger to represent 3Stone on the board of GCAL as chairman will be Bob Kidder, former CEO of Duracell and Borden Inc. and current board member of Schering Plough and Morgan Stanley.

Steve Maxwell of TechKNOWLEDGEy Strategic Group assisted GCAL in arranging the transaction. Maxwell commented, "GCAL is one of the most highly productive and profitable companies anywhere in this business. They are a great example of just how profitable this industry can be when a fully automated lab with advanced information management systems is able to consistently utilize its capacity."

CEO Byrne added, "We think this is a time of change and considerable opportunity in the environmental testing industry. Leveraging the strategic and capital resources of our partnership with 3Stone, we plan to expand the scope and geographic coverage of our business, through both grass-roots expansion and additional acquisitions."

Based in Columbus, OH, 3Stone Advisors LLC (www.3stoneadvisors.com) is the general partner of the 3Stone Inflection Fund LLC, a dedicated private equity fund with an investment practice focused on water. An affiliate of Stonehenge Partners Inc., a mezzanine and private equity house managing funds totaling $475 million, 3Stone has secured $100 million in 2006 and will raise additional capital in 2007.

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Also see:
-- "Investor Index: Microbe, Measurement, and Metacatalyst - How Regulations Drive Value Creation" (Industrial WaterWorld)
-- "Investor Index: 'Musical Chairs' in U.S. Water Business Continues" (Industrial WaterWorld)

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