CBRE Acquires Full Spectrum Group for $110M, Boosting Lab Solutions for Life Sciences Hubs

CBRE said the acquisition complements its existing global Integrated Laboratory Solutions capabilities for occupier clients in the fast-growing research and laboratory equipment sector.

The deal "positions CBRE to self-deliver an impressive range of scientific laboratory maintenance and repair services," says John Dunstan, CEO of GWS/Enterprise at CBRE.

Dallas-based CBRE Group announced Thursday that it had acquired Full Spectrum Group, a provider of expert technical support services for high-end laboratory systems in the United States, in a $110 million deal from private equity firm Pfingsten Partners.

CBRE said the acquisition gives it a new and enhanced technical capability that complements its existing global Integrated Laboratory Solutions capabilities for occupier clients in the fast-growing research and laboratory equipment sector.

Capabilities in key U.S. life sciences hubs

“Full Spectrum’s highly specialized capabilities and coverage in the key U.S. life sciences hubs further differentiates our Integrated Laboratory Solutions and positions CBRE to self-deliver an impressive range of scientific laboratory maintenance and repair services,” John Dunstan, CEO, GWS/Enterprise at CBRE, said in a statement. “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy to deliver reliable, sustainable, operationally excellent and cost-efficient technical service offerings executed by the best talent, across our clients’ facilities.”

CBRE said that it now can self-deliver highly specialized maintenance and repair services for handling some of the most critical laboratory assets, including high-end liquid and gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and thermal equipment. Full Spectrum Group will be fully integrated into its Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) Integrated Laboratory Solutions business.

Full Spectrum has more than 150 employees in 20 U.S. locations

Laguna Hills, California-based Full Spectrum Group has more than 150 employees, including more than 100 engineers, in 20 locations nationwide. It serves clients with a full range of service contracts, preventative maintenance programs, calibration and validation, repair services, parts, and reconditioned instruments.

“We look forward to the combined expertise and opportunities that joining CBRE will bring to our respective clients and talented teams,” Bob McLeese, president and CEO of Full Spectrum Group, said in a statement. “The strength of CBRE’s global platform for integrated laboratory solutions and their commitment to technical excellence means our clients can continue to expect the highest level of advanced technical support, unmatched response times and personal service delivered by our highly-trained team, allowing their lab managers to deliver reliable scientific results on time.”

Reducing lab inefficiencies

CBRE said that its Integrated Lab Solutions team reduces lab inefficiencies and maximizes lab asset utilization through a range of unique services, exceptional data integration, and original equipment manufacturer alliances. It said it can deliver up to 70 percent direct delivery of and maintenance services for balances, pipettes, high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometers, and automation equipment.

Here are other services CBRE provides in the lab:

  • Client-focused data integrity through onsite CMMS data entry
  • Integrated Laboratory Solutions Project Management
  • Workflow life cycle management services: tech refresh analysis through repair history, utilization, and age of instrument

DFW ranks among top metros in U.S. for its life sciences ecosystem

It’s a fitting acquisition for a Dallas-based company based on the recent ranking of Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 16 among U.S. metros for having “the most favorable combination of factors for a successful life sciences ecosystem,” according to a study by CommercialCafe.

The study assessed regional talent pool; accessibility of commercial real estate markets; availability of dedicated property or office space that might be redeveloped to accommodate this industry; and the state of development toward expanding life sciences capacity, in making its ranking.

DFW ranked No. 7 in science and engineering educational attainment; No. 10 in average vacancy rate; and No. 15 in the most-affordable average asking rate for office space.

DFW’s “unique mixed bag of regional advantages has attracted brands like BioLabs, which chose Dallas for its ninth location,” the study said. “It’s the life sciences coworking space provider’s first startup incubator location in the heartland.”

Others rank DFW as a rising star in biotech

Dallas-Fort Worth is, indeed, a rising star in biotech, according to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Historically unranked as a biotech location, the region is being recognized.

CBRE itself ranked DFW sixth as an emerging life science cluster in 2020. Commercial Edge, a research and services firm, ranked Dallas-Fort Worth 16th among 45 U.S. metros as a location for life sciences in a 2022 study. And CBRE’s 2022 scoring puts North Texas 16th in the nation for biotech, barely behind Atlanta and Houston and ahead of Austin.

“We’re accustomed to seeing DFW ranked at or near the top of most measures—not 16th or 6th—but from where we’ve come, it’s something to celebrate and build upon,” DRC SVP of Economic Development Mike Rosa said recently.

CBRE research shows that recent investment in U.S. life sciences R&D space is climbing. The company released research earlier this year that said 2021 ended with the strongest U.S. life sciences market in history.

CBRE’s research focused on fourth quarter 2021 indicators and its highlights include:

  • Life sciences venture capital funding in 2021 hit a record high of $32.5 billion.
  • R&D lab vacancies were low and going lower.
  • Low vacancies drove asking rents up 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Developers had more than 31 million square feet of lab space under development.
  • Biotech R&D employment grew 10.8 percent in 2021 – more than twice that of non-farm employment.

CBRE Group Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, based on 2021 revenue. It has more than 105,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries.

It serves a diverse client base with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.

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