Maven Capital Partners, the private equity house, has exited its investment in Crawford Scientific, which supplies chromatography products and analytical services, following its sale to Limerston Capital Partners I, LP.
The sale realised a return for Maven clients of 4.7x the initial investment in just over three years, with an IRR of 70%.
Since investing in August 2014, Maven has worked with the business to execute strategic initiatives, including the acquisition of Hall Analytical Laboratories which Maven’s clients also funded.
Following the acquisition, Crawford critically increased its global reach, entering new markets in the US, China and Europe, leveraging Hall’s reputation for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and environmental analysis and more recently e-cigarette testing.
During the last three years Crawford’s turnover and headcount have both doubled and profitability has almost trebled, as a result of both the successful acquisition of Hall Analytical and the robust organic growth achieved across its distribution and knowledge transfer divisions.
The investment from Limerston will enable Crawford to enter its next phase of expansion and capitalise on the trend of continued out-sourcing across a range of sectors, most notably the pharmaceuticals industry.
Dr David Milroy, investment director at Maven said: “It was obvious during our very first meeting that Crawford had something special in terms of its technical know-how, customer service and strong culture and it has been a real pleasure working with this talented and dynamic management team over the past three years.
“This investment has of course also been a huge success for Maven, delivering a 4.7x money multiple return and 70% IRR for our clients. I am confident that Limerston will enjoy a similarly fruitful relationship with the Crawford team and we wish both every success as they grow the business.”
Sam Crawford, managing director at Crawford added: “Maven’s investment and guidance has enabled the Crawford Scientific Group to deliver growth targets ahead of plan and timetable. We have very much enjoyed our time working with the Maven team and look forward to growing the business further with our new partners, Limerston Capital Partners.”
Joao Rosa, founding partner at Limerston concluded: “Crawford is an excellent platform for Limerston to enter the attractive chromatography testing and analytical services niche. Limerston Capital’s focus on value creation through operational improvements will enable Crawford to continue to grow in both existing as well as new adjacent market segments. We look forward to working with Sam Crawford and the management team over the coming years.”
Crawford Scientific was advised by Strata Partners and Burness Paull. Mazars conducted vendor due diligence. Crawford’s management was advised by Brodies and Rob Ferguson Chartered Accountants. Limerston was advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, KPMG, BDO and CIL.
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