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Equistone’s Concept Life Sciences acquires CXR Biosciences

17 Aug 2015

Concept Life Sciences, a scientific laboratory and consultancy group has acquired CXR Biosciences as it continues its acquisition spree in the fast-growing CRO market.

This marks its fourth acquisition since the Manchester-headquartered company was formed last year following investment from European private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe. The group acquired Peakdale Molecular, Resource & Environmental Consultants and Scientific Analysis Laboratories in a US$100m enterprise value deal in July 2014.

Led by Executive Chairman Michael Fort and Chief Executive Officer Alan Morgan, the Concept Life Sciences Group has over 600 staff in 11 locations, with advanced plans for further expansion into adjacent service offerings.

Dundee-based CXR Biosciences is a leading investigative toxicology business. It provides expertise to international life sciences companies to help them resolve issues relating to the safety of compounds and with the selection of drug and chemical candidates. The business will retain its name and operate under the Concept Life Sciences Group umbrella. CXR Biosciences CEO, Paul Smith will continue to head up the business and all 35 staff will be joining the Concept Life Sciences Group.

Andi Tomkinson, Investment Director at Equistone Partners Europe and non-executive director at Concept Life Sciences, said: “The group’s executive team continue to execute the Concept Life Sciences’ buy and build strategy.  CXR complements the existing platform and will enhance the group’s offering in supporting pre-clinical and discovery services. We have identified a number of other complementary acquisitions, both in the UK and Europe, which we hope to execute during the coming months.”

Commenting on the deal Concept Life Sciences Executive Chairman Michael Fort said: “Each of the companies we have acquired is a recognised leader in its field with an established client base. We believe these companies will experience growth at an even greater pace and see genuine benefit from being part of Concept Life Sciences. The UK is a leader in life sciences and an excellent base from which to expand an international science group.”

Paul Smith, CEO of CXR Biosciences, added: “We are very pleased to join the Concept Life Sciences Group and see this as a natural next step in our company’s development. Concept is a dynamic group with ambitious international growth plans. CXR Biosciences enjoys a market leading position in investigative and exploratory toxicology, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. By being part of the group, we will be able to continue to build on that success whilst benefitting from being part of the its discovery platform.”

A team at Deloitte, led by Richard Bell and Paul Maddison, provided buy side financial due diligence, while David O’Leary and Avril Edney provided tax due diligence. Paul Medlicott, Jamie Partridge and Helena Drury from Addleshaw Goddard provided legal advice, while Nick Hatton and Stephen Woodhouse of PwC advised on tax structuring.

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