SFW backs pharma services; PE nibbles at Heathrow; UK deal activity hits pre-pandemic levels

We're featuring interviews with folks from Gryphon, SFW and Aksìa Group and reports of private equity interest in Heathrow Airport.

Good morning, dealmakers. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

There’s a lot to share this morning from both PE Hub and PE Hub Europe, Including interviews with folks from Gryphon, SFW and Aksìa Group and reports of private equity interest in Heathrow Airport.

Let’s start with a scoop PE Hub reporter Aaron Weitzman got earlier this morning.

He broke the news that SFW Capital Partners has bought Sannova Analytical, a contract research organization that provides services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Aaron spoke with Roger Freeman, co-founder and partner of the Rye, New York-based private equity firm about the majority investment in the Somerset, New Jersey-based company.

“There’s continuing investment in the R&D associated with the development of new therapeutics,” Freeman said. “The drug development cycles, by themselves, are shortening and, at the same time, becoming more complex. With the shortening drug development cycle, there has also been increasing outsourcing by pharmaceutical companies, particularly to businesses with specific expertise, which provide very high-quality, accurate and efficient testing.”

The bioanalytical and chemistry manufacturing and controls testing services that Sannova provides are critical, because “they are the basis of the data used to evaluate trials, and in regulatory filings,” Freeman explained.

SFW plans to expand Sannova’s range of services, grow its sales and marketing and make strategic acquisitions.

You can read the whole story here.

Supply chain software. San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors recently made a majority investment in Rootstock Software, a provider of enterprise resource planning. PE Hub reporter Obey Martin Manayiti spoke with Jon Cheek, deal partner and head of Gryphon’s software group, about the deal.

Based in San Ramon, California, Rootstock is built on the Salesforce platform. Cheek described ERP software as the “central nervous system of a manufacturer or distributor” for its ability to help businesses link customers, suppliers and employers to critical data across their organizations at any time and from anywhere.

“The demand for modern cloud ERP systems in the manufacturing and distribution space is so strong and growing so fast that the organic opportunity at Rootstock is more than enough to excite any investor,” said Cheek.

Read more of Obey’s interview with Cheek here.

Rule, Britannia. As regular readers know, we launched PE Hub Europe last month. On the new website, our UK-based editorial team gets to the heart of the European private equity landscape by analyzing deals and the direction of the market and telling the stories of the people and firms making it all happen.

Today, PE Hub Europe editor Craig McGlashan’s covers a potential private equity bid for a 25 percent stake in Heathrow Airport and new data out from KPMG showing that UK mid-market deal activity was above pre-pandemic levels in the first half of this year.

Check out Craig’s Dealflow column here.

Also see reporter Nina Lindholm’s interview with Aksìa Group about the Milan-based PE firm’s plans to scout the market for complementary companies for the firm’s latest acquisition, Gommatex Spalmati. The Prato, Italy-based company specializes in sustainable fabrics for luxury brands.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more.