Spectris plc

Deal summary

Catalyst advised Spectris plc on its £163 million acquisition of Concept Life Sciences from Equistone Partners Europe and company management.

Concept Life Sciences is a UK-based group providing integrated drug discovery, development, analytical testing and environmental consultancy services to an international customer base, mainly in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrochemical and environmental sectors. Additionally, it carries out development and analytical services for the food, consumer and environmental industries. The gross assets of Concept Life Sciences at December 2016 were £73.4 million. Pro-forma revenue (including the full-year impact of acquisitions) in the year to December 2017 was £48.7 million and pro-forma EBITDA was £9.3 million. The business has a history of delivering double digit growth and that is expected to continue.

Spectris is a productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, with four divisions: Materials Analysis, Test and Measurement, In-line Instrumentation and Industrial Controls. This acquisition adds test service capabilities to Spectris’ Materials Analysis segment, where it has strong synergies with the activities of Malvern Panalytical, especially in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and agrochemical markets. These markets are expected to continue to grow as a result of increasing regulation, the complexity of pharmaceutical R&D and investments in new therapies, particularly protein-based pharmaceuticals.

What difference did we make?

Spectris has a strategy of acquiring services and software businesses to complement its instrumentation hardware divisions so that it can better provide added value solutions to its customers. Catalyst had met Concept through its work in the Testing, Inspection & Certification (TIC) sector and identified it as a potential fit with Spectris’s strategy. Catalyst introduced the idea and management team to Spectris, which seized the opportunity of developing an off-market deal and manoeuvred itself into an exclusive position with a strong bid. Catalyst supported the corporate development and M&A team through the transaction, in particular assisting on bid tactics and valuation. The deal was completed within two months.

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