Equistone Partners sells Concept Life Sciences

Equistone Partners has sold Concept Life Sciences to Spectris plc for 163 million pounds. UK-based Concept Life Sciences is a provider of drug discovery, development and analytical services for the life science sector.


MANCHESTER & EGHAM, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Concept Life Sciences (‘Concept’), the integrated drug discovery, development and analytical services and environmental consultancy company, today announced the completion of its acquisition by Spectris plc (‘Spectris’), the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company. Spectris has acquired the Concept Life Sciences Group of companies from Equistone Partners and company management, for a purchase consideration of £163 million, on a debt and cash-free basis.

Concept represents a new, high-growth area for Spectris, and will become a separate operating company within its Materials Analysis segment where it has strong synergies with the activities of Malvern Panalytical.

As a result of the acquisition, Concept’s customers will benefit from access to Malvern Panalytical’s expertise in molecular testing and analysis. In the medium term, Concept’s in-depth scientific offering, customer knowledge and application insights, combined with Malvern Panalytical’s deep domain knowledge and broad reach, will enable increased innovation across the combined group.

Concept has achieved significant growth over the period 2015-2017, driven both organically and through M&A activity. The recent acquisition of Aquila Biomedical, an immunotherapy business, significantly added to the Company’s reach in integrated drug discovery and development services. Additionally, Concept expanded its capacity in August 2017 by opening new laboratories at the international science hub Alderley Park.

Spectris reported 2016 revenue of £1,346m, with operating profit of £201m and has low debt. Under its new ownership, Concept will benefit from the expertise, resources and international reach of the Spectris group. Being part of a large, global organisation will help Concept Life Science’s growth with international customers and expansion into new markets, both organically and via potential acquisitions. The current Management team, led by Michael Fort, will continue to run the business. The company will maintain a ‘business as usual’ policy through the integration process.

Michael Fort, Executive Chairman, Concept Life Sciences, commented: “Concept was positioning for a sale in late 2018/early 2019, and we are therefore delighted that our success has been recognised by Spectris, leading to an earlier than planned acquisition. The global footprint of Spectris along with their expertise in complementary activities and experienced management team offers the infrastructure to support Concept’s ambitions for international growth. We are very excited to begin working together.”

John O’Higgins, Chief Executive, Spectris plc, said: “Concept 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. The Spectris executive team is excited to work with Michael and the team in order to deliver on the opportunities that both groups see.”

About Concept Life Sciences www.conceptlifesciences.com
Concept Life Sciences provides integrated, high quality drug discovery, development and analytical services to the life science sector. Formed as a result of targeted acquisition and organic growth, the Company has the in-house expertise and resource to support customers with projects spanning from target discovery to the clinic, adding value and IP throughout the discovery pathway.

With a track record of delivering knowledge-based, science-led solutions, the Company employs over 700 FTEs, including more than 500 highly skilled, experienced scientists, supporting its global client base from 11 state of the art laboratory facilities.

Concept Life Sciences has worked with all of the top 10 pharma and biotech companies, and is targeting revenues exceeding $60m in 2017. Having experienced rapid growth, the Company remains focused on problem solving, quality, collaboration, and flexibility.

Concept Life Sciences was formed in 2014 with backing from private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe.

About Spectris plc
Spectris plc is a leading supplier of productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls. The Company’s products and technologies help customers to improve product quality and performance, improve core manufacturing processes, reduce downtime and wastage and reduce time to market. Its global customer base spans a diverse range of end user markets. Spectris operates across four business segments which reflect the applications and industries it serves: Materials Analysis, Test and Measurement, In-line Instrumentation and Industrial Controls. Headquartered in Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom, the Company employs approximately 9,000 people with offices in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit www.spectris.com.