Testing Transaction for Drug Dealmakers

  • mar. 2007

TrichoTech, the UK’s leading laboratory specialising in hair
testing for drugs of abuse has been sold to AIM listed laboratory
testing services provider Concateno plc in an £11.25 million
deal negotiated by mid-market corporate finance house

Concateno, chaired by Keith Tozzi, former Chief Executive of Swan
Group and the British Standards Institute, and backed by Marwyn
Capital and a list of blue-chip investors, was one of a number of
potential acquirers from the UK and overseas that were eager to
invest in the occupational drug testing sector.

The team, headed by deal leader Graham Carberry, recommended
Concateno to TrichoTech founding director John Wicks because of the
group’s demonstrable commitment to consolidating the UK
laboratory test sector. Shortly prior to the purchase of
TrichoTech, Concateno had announced the successful acquisitions of
Medscreen Ltd and Altrix plc. It also showed a willingness to value
the company appropriately alongside a well thought-out strategy to
undertake the consolidation of the lab test sector.

Carberry says: “Until recently the UK lab test sector
was highly fragmented but Concateno has acted as a catalyst for a
significant consolidation with these deals, resulting in a
strategic presence in the testing of blood, urine and oral fluids,
as well as hair. Marwyn Capital and its investors have recognised
the significant potential in hair testing for drugs of abuse and
the extensive reputation built up by John and his team for the cost
effective and highly accurate analysis of

Mr Wicks was delighted with the outcome of the transaction and
Livingstone’s role: “The value of Livingstone
lies in their ability to provide very clear advice with the minimum
of jargon, backed by a demonstrably extensive knowledge of the
process. This is coupled with the provision of very real practical
assistance throughout”.

Livingstone partner Jeremy Furniss, comments: “This
is a great entrepreneurial success story. Having championed the
idea of hair analysis for drugs to Cardiff BioAnalytical Services
in 1993, John Wicks established TrichoTech as a separate concern in
1997 and by 2004 was the only UK laboratory accredited for hair,
urine and oral fluids”.

“The decision to concentrate on the testing of hair has
proved crucial and now the company not only works with many
Government departments, police forces and local authorities in
Great Britain, it also has international sales in Brazil, Australia
and New Zealand”.

Jeremy Furniss, partner
Tel: 020 7484 4703
Email: jfurniss@livingstonepartners.co.uk

Graham Carberry, deal leader
Tel: 020 7484 4728
Email: gcarberry@livingstonepartners.co.uk

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