CEO: CML will re-invest x-ray sale funds

Mississauga’s CML Healthcare Inc. is planning to spread out the funds gained from the sale of its x-ray business, as it refocuses on its core lab services.

“Some of it will go to pay down some debt, some of it will be reinvested in the business and we have the capability to buy back shares as well,” President and CEO Thomas Wellner told, regarding the $70 million to $110 expected from the sale of the Ontario diagnostic centres. “We also allow ourselves the capability to acquire companies and or technologies.”

Following a squeeze in provincial health-care spending, the company is now moving towards more specialty services in addition to its high-volume routine testing, something Wellner considered “very necessary for the health-care system.”

CML is also adding more specialized laboratory testing capabilities to its central laboratory, including Melisa, for testing hypersensitivity to metals, and the Somagen, an allergy-testing platform. “These are also areas where we can repatriate some tests that we had to outsource in the past and also go after new business,” Wellner explained.

The company is also undergoing significant work with development organizations like cancer researcher Mitomics for various products, test and services.

“These companies are focused on researching and developing diagnostic tests, but need a partner like CML to help them through the commercial phase of the introduction,” Wellner explained.

Wellner cited the process and success of premium-priced colon cancer test Cologic, where CML was able to introduce it to physicians and provided a network and processing facilities for patients.

CML has come a long way from its first lab in Simcoe, Ont., 41 years ago. Currently, the company operates 140 patient service labs in Ontario, 94 x-ray centres in Ontario and British Columbia, and a reference laboratory in Ontario focused on specialized blood coagulation testing for worldwide customers.

It also employs 2,100 people in Canada.

This also isn’t the first time CML has decided to refocus its business. In late 2011, the company left the American market and sold its medical imaging business for US$51.5 million.

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