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New Chairman Appointed to EKF Diagnostics


EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, the point-of-care, central laboratory, and molecular diagnostics business, announces that further to its announcement on 23 October 2015, Ron Zwanziger has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman with immediate effect. At the same time David Evans, outgoing Executive Chairman will become Deputy Non-Executive Chairman.

Julian Baines, Chief Executive, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Ron Zwanziger to the Board as Non-Executive Chairman. It is well known that Ron has immense knowledge of our industry and considerable leadership and operating experience having founded and run three highly successful medical diagnostic companies. Ron was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Alere Inc. from its inception in May 2001 until spring of 2014, a company which is now valued at nearly $4bn on the New York Stock Exchange. He previously served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Inverness Medical Technology until it was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for approximately $1.3bn. Before that Ron was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MediSense, a medical device company sold to Abbott Laboratories for over $800m. Ron clearly has a strong track record of building successful diagnostics businesses and I look forward to working with Ron again to deliver the same for EKF.”

Ron Zwanziger, Non-Executive Chairman, commented:

“I have for some time now recognised the potential value within EKF and the opportunity we have to build a world-class point-of-care business. I am excited to work towards delivering this in my role as Non-Executive Chairman. In addition I will continue to support EKF as a substantial shareholder.

“My first priority as Non-Executive Chairman will be to conduct a full review of the business, a process that I expect to conclude before the end of the year. This will allow us to refocus the business on point-of-care and, as a team, provide a coherent strategy to shareholders on how we will deliver strong, sustainable growth, profitability and cash generation.

“During this period of refocusing we do not expect to provide guidance on the future performance of the Company as a whole. We will look to spin-off or close the molecular diagnostics division and have put all further investment into this division on hold. The singular focus for the rest of the business will be to quickly re-establish profitability and cash-generation, as well as executing a strategy to drive organic revenue growth.I anticipate annual cost savings in 2016 and beyond of over £3m. Once this has been achieved there may be opportunities for strategic acquisitions. It will also be our intention to introduce new products into the EKF Point-of-Care portfolio.

“I have worked with Julian Baines before following Alere’s acquisition of BBI Holdings and I look forward to returning his focus to his natural area of expertise and delivering on that goal. I look forward to updating fellow shareholders following our full review and appreciate your support as we work together to realise the full potential value of this business.”