Bridgepoint to take Fera Science

Fera provides services to the testing inspection and certification market.

  • Fera is a joint venture between Capita and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 
  • Defra retains its shareholding as part of the transaction
  • The investment is BDC IV’s 14th and its third in the UK this year

Bridgepoint, via Bridgepoint Development Capital IV, has agreed to acquire Capita’s 75 percent stake in Fera Science. The transaction values Fera at £80 million (€93.3 million; $101.6 million).

Fera was established in 2015 as a joint venture between Capita and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). Defra will retain its 25 percent shareholding as part of the transaction. Fera is based in York in the UK.

Fera provides services to the testing inspection and certification market, which is forecast to grow at 6-9 percent over the medium term, underpinned by secular tailwinds, according to Bridgepoint.

Mat Legg, partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, said that the combination of climate change, biodiversity awareness, changing customer habits and the need to feed a growing global population are leading to new, more sustainable agricultural practices, product innovations and increased government regulation to protect agricultural environments, which require testing and research services to determine the standards which producers should follow.

“Fera is recognised as the UK’s authority and a leading global expert in these areas, thanks to its differentiated scientific capabilities, well-invested facilities and deep expertise,” he added. “We look forward to working with the management team to scale the business both domestically and internationally, including by investing in the business to maintain its cutting-edge scientific leadership and via M&A.”

Bridgepoint is a listed international alternative asset manager focused on middle-market companies and is based in London.

(Note: Bridgepoint owns PEI Group, the publisher of PE Hub Europe.)