Trichotech has been acquired by Concateno plc

TrichoTech, the UK's leading laboratory specialising in hair testing for drugs of abuse has been sold to AIM listed laboratory testing services provider Concateno plc in an 11.25m deal negotiated by Arrowpoint Advisory.

Concateno, chaired by Keith Tozzi, former Chief Executive of Swan Group and the British Standards Institute, and backed by Marwyn Capital and a list of blue-chip investors, was one of a number of potential acquirers from the UK and overseas that were eager to invest in the occupational drug testing sector.

The team, headed by  Graham Carberry, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, recommended Concateno to TrichoTech founding director John Wicks because of the group's demonstrable commitment to consolidating the UK laboratory test sector. Shortly prior to the purchase of TrichoTech, Concateno had announced the successful acquisitions of Medscreen Ltd and Altrix plc. It also showed a willingness to value the company appropriately alongside a well thought-out strategy to undertake the consolidation of the lab test sector.

Carberry says: Until recently the UK lab test sector was highly fragmented but Concateno has acted as a catalyst for a significant consolidation with these deals, resulting in a strategic presence in the testing of blood, urine and oral fluids, as well as hair. Marwyn Capital and its investors have recognised the significant potential in hair testing for drugs of abuse and the extensive reputation built up by John and his team for the cost effective and highly accurate analysis of hair.”

Mr Wicks was delighted with the outcome of the transaction and Arrowpoint Advisory's role: The value of Arrowpoint Advisory lies in their ability to provide very clear advice with the minimum of jargon, backed by a demonstrably extensive knowledge of the process. This is coupled with the provision of very real practical assistance throughout.”

Jeremy Furniss, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, comments: This is a great entrepreneurial success story. Having championed the idea of hair analysis for drugs to Cardiff BioAnalytical Services in 1993, John Wicks established TrichoTech as a separate concern in 1997 and by 2004 was the only UK laboratory accredited for hair, urine and oral fluids.”

“The decision to concentrate on the testing of hair has proved crucial and now the company not only works with many Government departments, police forces and local authorities in Great Britain, it also has international sales in Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.”

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