Nurse wearing mask looking outside through blinds of a window

Water Street Annual Review 2020

Closed sign on door of local business

With the global pandemic, 2020 was a year of
unprecedented hardship and challenge for people,
institutions and businesses worldwide.

Intubated patient in hospital bed

It was a year that demonstrated why the healthcare
industry is so important.

Covid 19 test kits

We are grateful that our companies were able to make
an impact in the battle against the COVID-19 virus —
delivering critical supplies and PPE, providing
diagnostic tests, and helping patients find care in a
difficult environment.

Scientist performing diagnostic test in lab

As essential businesses, our companies continued to
provide healthcare products and services while working
hard to ensure the safety of nearly 13,000 employees.

Businessman in office

We helped our companies navigate the crisis and
kept our focus on the future.

Small glass bottles on manufacturing line

We continued to invest in growth initiatives,
new products and services to create greater long-term
value for our companies, and to benefit the overall
healthcare system.


We partnered with four new companies to build market leaders.

New Water Street Companies

  • Safeguard Medical

    In 2020, Water Street simultaneously merged three companies to form Safeguard Medical. We partnered with the founders of all three businesses to build a leading first responder company offering a powerful platform of highly specialized products, kitting capabilities and emergency medical training programs.

    Safeguard Medical
    Safeguard Medical
  • Solvias

    Headquartered in the biotech hub of Basel, Switzerland, Solvias is one of the largest independent pharmaceutical laboratory companies in Europe. Its executive committee selected Water Street to help drive the company’s global strategic expansion in complex pharmaceutical laboratory services.

  • Southern Scripts

    Southern Scripts is a pharmacy benefit management services provider dedicated to helping businesses address rising prescription drug costs, a major healthcare pain point for U.S. employers. The founders chose Water Street as their partner after we co-developed a strategic plan to achieve the company’s mission of becoming the leading disruptor of the pharmacy benefit management industry.

    Southern Scripts
    Southern Scripts
  • Medical Guardian

    Medical Guardian

    Demand for Medical Guardian’s innovative medical alert products and services continues to rise as the number of Americans aged 65+ increases along with their desire to live in their own homes as they age. The company’s founder selected Water Street to work with him to accelerate the company’s strategic expansion and aggressively grow its leadership position in the personal emergency response services industry.

    Medical Guardian
    Medical Guardian


We invested to grow our companies, completing eight strategic acquisitions.

Growth Initiatives


    CATO SMS is a provider of specialized clinical research solutions formed through a global merger spearheaded by Water Street. The company continued its expansion in 2020, acquiring Array Biostatistics to significantly expand its biostatistical consulting, analysis and programming capabilities, adding to its offerings in complex therapeutic areas that include oncology, rare and orphan indications, and cell and gene therapy.

  • Discovery Life Sciences

    Two years into our partnership, Water Street has grown Discovery Life Sciences into a global leader in biospecimen analysis, procurement, distribution and scientific services. In 2020, Water Street facilitated the acquisition of East West Biopharma to form Europe’s largest network of clinical collection sites and elevate Discovery’s position as one of the world’s leading biospecimen service providers.

    Discovery Life Sciences
    Discovery Life Sciences
  • Imagine 360

    Over the past four years, we have built a leading group of employer health services companies. In 2020, Group and Pension Administrators (GPA) joined Water Street’s companies, ELAP Services and Employee Benefit Management Services (EBMS), to form Imagine 360. Together, the businesses are collaborating with Water Street to expand their diversified portfolio of solutions to help mid-size employers reduce healthcare costs while providing a seamless, positive experience to employees.

    Imagine 360
    Imagine 360
  • Eversana

    Eversana continues to build a comprehensive offering of fully integrated, next-generation commercial solutions for medical therapies and devices. Since partnering with Water Street in 2016, the company has completed 11 strategic acquisitions, including the 2020 acquisitions of HVH Precision Analytics, a best-in class predictive analytics platform, and Alkemy Partners, a leading provider of field solutions and training services.

  • Safeguard Medical

    Shortly after forming Safeguard Medical, Water Street facilitated the company’s first acquisition, Water-Jel Technologies, adding world-class emergency burn care solutions to its powerful platform of life-saving products and services. The company also completed a strategic partnership with MAXFI Surgical Simulations to enhance its emergency medical training capabilities and services to first responders.

    Safeguard Medical
    Safeguard Medical


We sold two Water Street companies after successfully building them into market leaders.

Growth Stories

  • Key Surgical

    Over the course of our partnership with Key Surgical, we transformed the company into a leading global provider of sterile processing, operating room and endoscopy products. We worked with Key Surgical to complete strategic acquisitions and organic investments to build its product portfolio, commercial model and global footprint before finding an excellent long-term home for the company with STERIS (NYSE: STE).

    • 500% Grew revenue more
      than 500%
    • 5 Completed 5 strategic
    • 4x More than quadrupled
      employee base
    • 3x Increased customer
      base nearly 3x
    Key Surgical
    Key Surgical
  • RTI Surgical

    Water Street collaborated with RTI Surgical (Nasdaq: RTIX) in 2013 to acquire Pioneer Surgical Technology to create a premier global surgical implant company. Two more strategic acquisitions further enhanced the company’s spine business. In 2020, we supported RTI with divesting its original equipment manufacturing business and repositioning the company as a global spine care technology company under the name Surgalign Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRGA).

    RTI Surgical
    RTI Surgical


We added three talented healthcare executives to our team.

Expanding the Water Street Team

  • Camille Farhat

    Executive Advisor

    Camille Farhat brings to Water Street a highly regarded track record of transforming and revitalizing global healthcare businesses while he served in leadership positions with American Medical Systems, Baxter International, General Electric, Medtronic and our legacy portfolio company, RTI Surgical, Inc. Camille’s unique strength in leading and growing businesses through tremendous change will contribute greatly to our goal of building our healthcare companies into market leaders.

  • Caroll H. Neubauer

    Executive Advisor

    Caroll Neubauer joined Water Street after retiring from B. Braun following three decades of leadership. Caroll served on the Global Management Board of the B. Braun Group of Companies and led the company’s North American operations, transforming B. Braun USA into a leader in infusion therapy and pain management. In addition to his many accomplishments at B. Braun, Caroll has advanced important change in the healthcare industry. His pharmaceutical and medical device experience complements our team and will further our goal of building market-leading companies.

  • Michael S. Zappala

    Vice President

    Michael Zappala augments our team of senior investment professionals and former executives of global healthcare businesses. He brings to Water Street a strong background in sourcing, investing in and growing middle-market companies with exceptional brands. Michael will work with our team to pursue a strong pipeline of opportunities where we can leverage our industry expertise and network of resources to grow our group of market-leading healthcare companies.


We continue to work with our companies to build value and to support a shared goal that has never been more important: to contribute to improved patient outcomes, and a more effective, efficient healthcare system.

We are always looking for the next opportunity to make a positive impact by partnering with founders and executives to unlock growth and build healthcare leaders.

Whether you’re a growth-minded global healthcare corporation or mid-sized company, we welcome the opportunity to talk.