Edinburgh’s Exova accepts £620m takeover offer

Edinburgh-based industrial testing firm Exova Group has agreed to a £620 million cash takeover offer from Element Materials Technology Group, the companies said on Wednesday.

Element is majority owned by BEV, the latest fund of private equity firm Bridgepoint.

Exova shareholders would be paid 240p per share by Element and be entitled to receive a final dividend for the period to December 31, 2016, of 2.35p per share.

Exova shares rose slightly to around 238p.

Exova chairman Allister Langlands said: “This represents a good outcome for shareholders and the combination of Exova and Element creates a global leader in the testing market.

“Since the IPO, the Exova management team have made significant progress driving organic growth across many of our businesses and developing an attractive acquisition strategy.

“The offer represents 16 times Exova’s 2016 Adjusted EBITA and a premium of 26% to our average share price over the last 12 months.

“It follows a full and thorough process with interested parties and provides all Exova shareholders with liquidity and the ability to realise the value of the group’s opportunities with certainty.”

Element CEO Charles Noall said: “We are very excited about the potential of combining these two great businesses to better serve our customers and support their growth.

“This transaction will create a truly global product and materials testing business, increasing Element’s operational reach across key markets in US, Europe and Asia.

“The combined UK headquartered group will benefit from deep pools of technical talent, very significant testing capacity and a strong network of facilities to support our customers’ global supply chains.

“We believe that this acquisition will facilitate greater flexibility to invest further in capacity and technology, driving further opportunities across the combined group.”