Friday, August 7, 2020

Fraser Brown advises on sale of BioCity food and drug company

The corporate team at Fraser Brown – led by partner Tom Gray and assisted by Peter Abel – has acted on the sale of a leading Nottingham pharmaceutical testing business.

Catapult Venture Managers (Catapult) has announced that its portfolio business Food and Drug Analytical Services (FDAS) has been acquired by Tentamus UK, the UK subsidiary of German Tentamus Group GmbH. The Fraser Brown team advised the founder shareholders and Catapult in connection with the sale.

Based at BioCity, Nottingham, FDAS is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of pharmaceutical quality control testing services. Catapult first invested in the company when it was formed in 2004, alongside the founders of the business. Accredited by the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), FDAS delivers a full contract testing service – incorporating chemistry, microbiology, stability and development capabilities – to some of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

The investment has enabled FDAS to significantly grow its market share and turnover. The company has also steadily invested in additional equipment and staff and now employs in excess of 20 people.

Larissa Taylor will continue to lead the business and the acquisition process is expected to be seamless, with no disruption to operations.

Taylor, technical director at FDAS, said: “The sale of FDAS to Tentamus is without doubt the best option for the company and represents the next phase of development and growth. As part of the Tentamus Group of companies we will continue to build on our success. Part of the reason for that success has been the investment and support that Catapult have provided over the last twelve years, which has been greatly appreciated by the management team”.

Jonathan Lowe, head of investor relations at Catapult, said: “Under Larissa Taylor’s leadership, FDAS has developed into a highly successful business, undertaking important testing work for the benefit of customers and consumers alike. Since we invested in 2004, we have worked closely with the Board and management team of the company to support its growth and we are very proud of the success of the business to date. The sale provides another satisfactory exit for Catapult’s East Midlands Regional Venture Capital Fund. We are sure that under its new owners, FDAS will continue to go from strength to strength’.’

Tom Gray, partner at Fraser Brown, added: “FDAS is a shining example of the innovative, high tech industries emerging in Nottingham. Many essential ingredients are required to produce successful tech companies. These include the specialist facilities we now have in Nottingham’s BioCity for biotech and testing businesses. However, these companies also require an effective and strong management team with a clear business plan, and well structured financial solutions. The East Midlands Regional Venture Capital Fund managed by Catapult has provided the long term financial support that has allowed such businesses to emerge. In addition, Larissa Taylor is an extremely talented and capable founder shareholder, who has built for FDAS a reputation in the industry for the highest quality and reliability in testing services. This has led the business to its success today. I have no doubt Larissa will continue to build upon the enviable reputation FDAS now has in the market, and working with the Tentamus Group will continue that success”.

Tentamus were advised by DLA Piper lead by Alasdair Wood in Edinburgh, with accounting advice and financial due diligence from Grant Thornton.

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