Bridgepoint to acquire a majority shareholding in Fera Science

Arrowpoint Advisory’s Business Services team have advised Bridgepoint Development Capital IV (“BDC” IV), a fund focused on investing in mid-market growth businesses, on agreement to acquire Capita’s 75% stake in Fera Science Limited (‘Fera’), in a transaction valuing Fera at £80m.

Established in 2015 as a joint venture between Capita (75%) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) (25%), Fera provides expert laboratory (and field) based, assurance, applied research, proficiency testing and data services to the public and private sector across the agriculture, food and environment value chain. As part of the transaction, Defra is retaining its shareholding.

The business has five areas of focus – Food & Feed (testing to ensure safety, authenticity and integrity of food and feed including novel foods in support of regulatory compliance, new product development and product claim (brand promise), Plant Health, Environment and Land Management (focusing on strategic support for national biosecurity and border control, expert services to support natural capital and biodiversity gain and sustainable intensification of food production from regenerative practises including integrated pest management and development/ application of bio-inputs), Chemical Safety Stewardship (conducting safety assessment for impact of new veterinary medicines, plant protection products and other chemicals upon the environment to support regulatory approval), Proficiency Testing & Laboratory Assurance (determining the proficiency of accredited laboratories around the world to conduct their work, producing reference materials to support accreditation compliance and quality assurance standards) and Knowledge Solutions (operating subscription based data tools covering global food safety and pesticide product approval and compliance and safety underpinned by unique databases).

Fera provides differentiated services to some of the most attractive testing, inspection, certification and assurance segments of the Testing Inspection and Certification (‘TIC’) market, which is forecast to grow at 6-9% over the medium term, underpinned by secular tailwinds.

Matt Legg, Partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: “The combination of climate change, biodiversity awareness, changing customer habits and the need to feed a growing global population are leading to new, more sustainable agricultural practices, product innovations and increased government regulation to protect agricultural environments, which require testing and research services to determine the standards which producers should follow.

“Fera is recognised as the UK’s authority and a leading global expert in these areas, thanks to its differentiated scientific capabilities, well-invested facilities and deep expertise. We look forward to working with the management team to scale the business both domestically and internationally, including by investing in the business to maintain its cutting-edge scientific leadership and via M&A.”

Contact the deal team