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BioReference Labs acquires Calif. lab, including deep book of business

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BioReference Laboratories Inc. has acquired a clinical laboratory in northern California, a purchase the Elmwood Park company said provides strategic value and improves its geographic footprint.

BioReference's acquisition includes most assets of Hunter Laboratories, of Campbell — just south of San Francisco — for an undisclosed price.

Richard Faherty, BioReference chief information officer, said it makes sense to conduct most testing closest to a local market rather than constantly ship materials to Elmwood Park headquarters, incurring cost and potential damage.

The company has additional clinical facilities in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and Ohio.

"This acquisition will provide us with a local West Coast presence that should prove to be a valuable driver in our continued growth over the next few years," CEO Marc Grodman said in a statement. "We are a national laboratory and expect to benefit from a strategic presence in key areas around the country to support our national capabilities."

BioReference's testing services are used by health care providers to diagnose and treat disease. The company said this purchase includes a sophisticated facility and most of Hunter's current business, including Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid system.

"Just by taking over this lab, we take over a fair amount of business we couldn't walk away from," Faherty said.

With revenue at more than $600 million, BioReference employs 2,900 in New Jersey and about 4,000 nationwide. It provides testing, information and related services to doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, employers and government.

Reporter Tom Zanki is @BizTZanki on Twitter.

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