Eurofins snaps up five companies in early 2018 splurge

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/pichet_w. No financial details for any of the deals was disclosed
Picture: iStock/pichet_w. No financial details for any of the deals was disclosed

Related tags United kingdom

Eurofins has acquired five companies in the first few weeks of this year.

Eurofins Food and Water Testing UK and Ireland bought Ashwood UK, a food microbiology and chemistry testing lab in Scotland.

Eurofins North America food division purchased Craft Technologies, a contract lab providing analysis of nutrients, vitamins, carotenoids, bioflavonoids and phytochemicals.

Eurofins Scientific Group picked up VTT Expert Services and Labtium Oy – two wholly owned subsidiaries of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. 

Eurofins Scientific also sealed a deal for Food Analytica, a group of food testing laboratories in Hungary.

Ashwood performs more than 67,000 tests per month

The purchase of Ashwood is the third acquisition in the food, water and environmental testing sector in the UK and Ireland in the last 18 months.

It will become the business hub in Scotland for Eurofins UK food testing. Eurofins Food and Water Testing UK and Ireland consist of ten laboratories.

Phil Coles, MD of Eurofins Food and Water Testing UK and Ireland, said the deal extend its reach and services offered.

“Demand for specialist food testing has grown as organisations look to meet the requirements of increasingly stringent national and international legislation,” ​he said.

“This move positions us as one of the leading providers of food and water analysis in the UK and Ireland and Ashwood’s broad expertise in food microbiology and chemistry testing will contribute to the expansion of Eurofins’ food testing portfolio…”

The Ashwood lab is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and performs more than 67,000 tests per month. It employs 46 staff and generates annual revenues in excess of £2m.

Denise Ashwood will continue as MD for the Ashwood business. She said the acquisition offers opportunities for employees and secures a long-term future.

“I’m also delighted that the Ashwood laboratory will form a major hub for UK food testing, and is well positioned for positive growth going forward​.”

Analytical services and instrumentation

Meanwhile, the addition of Craft Technologies brings analytical services to Eurofins for products from human and animal foods to dietary supplements.

The firm, in Wilson, North Carolina, employs scientists and technical staff serving private industry, governments and academia worldwide.

Its lab is more than 10,000 square feet and includes instrumentation for HPLC, UHPLC, GC, MS, spectrophotometric, fluorometric and ELISA.

David Bryant, group SVP North America, said: "From a technical standpoint, their knowledge of testing and assay development in food chemistry and nutritional supplements is well known within industry and government agencies.”

Neal Craft, president at Craft Technologies, said it is hoping to contribute in areas where the group may not have a large presence.

“For a long time, people have said that Craft Technologies is the best kept secret in this area. By becoming part of the Eurofins international group of labs we will be able to let the secret out and have a bigger impact as a result of this association."

Testing, inspection and certification services

VTT will sell two wholly owned subsidiaries to Eurofins Scientific Group.

Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, said VTT Expert Services and Labtium supply commercial testing, inspection and certification services.

“These services are not sufficiently connected to VTT's strategic goal to support innovation by science-based solutions and technology development,” ​he said.

“The continuous development of these companies according to industry requirements is easier as part of Eurofins Scientific Group than as part of VTT Group.”

Eurofins would not give us any further information and VTT did not respond to our media request.

Finally, Eurofins said the Food Analytica acquisition will enhance its geographical footprint in the food and feed testing market and provides a platform with organic and inorganic growth potential.

Food Analytica offers microbiology, food and feed chemistry, grain studies, molecular biology and sensory analyses to more than 400 clients in Hungary and Romania.

It also provides environmental testing to a variety of customers. The company employs 90 staff and operates four labs in South-Eastern Hungary.

Dr Gilles Martin, Eurofins’ CEO, said: “This acquisition, together with the acquisition of ERICo in Slovenia in 2017, will provide Eurofins with a strong presence in both food and environment testing markets to the benefit of its customers in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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