Catalyst advises Spectris plc on its acquisition of Concept Life Sciences

Catalyst Corporate Finance (“Catalyst”), the UK business of Alantra, has advised Spectris plc (‘Spectris’), the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company, on its acquisition of Concept Life Sciences from Equistone Partners Europe and company management. The purchase consideration of £163 million, on a debt and cash-free basis, will be met from existing cash and bank facilities.

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.

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.

John O’Higgins, Chief Executive of Spectris, said: “Concept Life Sciences is a high-quality services business which further strengthens our portfolio and enhances our ability to provide customers within the pharmaceutical, life sciences and advanced materials sectors with a combined product and service proposition.”

Catalyst Partner Richard Holden, who led the project supported by Tom Cowap and Matt Kumeta, commented: “We are pleased to have been able to introduce Spectris to Concept Life Sciences and support the team through the transaction. Concept Life Sciences is one of the few remaining UK laboratory businesses of scale providing high end discovery and analytical services. Spectris has capitalised on this opportunity to advance its strategy of providing added value solutions to its existing customer base by expanding its testing services and to benefit from the compelling trends driving growth in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. The testing sector continues to consolidate and this is presenting exciting opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.”     

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