Global investment bank GCA Altium advises Ensign-Bickford on acquisition of Cawood Scientific

Global investment bank GCA Altium has advised US-based corporate Ensign-Bickford Industries (EBI) on its acquisition of Berkshire-based Cawood Scientific – a UK-based independent scientific group – from Waterland Private Equity.

Cawood Scientific provides laboratory analysis to the agriculture, food, and environmental sectors, as well as contract research to support the development of agrochemicals, biocides and other chemicals, with laboratories based across the UK, Europe and the United States.

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, EBI is a 185-year-old privately held corporation with diversified businesses in aerospace and defence, molecular diagnostics, and pet food palatability sectors.

Following the acquisition, Cawood will become a member of EBI’s Agriculture and Environmental Diagnostics Group, EnviroLogix.

The acquisition of Cawood will strengthen EBI’s position in the agricultural supply chain, with Cawood’s capabilities adding to its diagnostic growth platform enabling the firm to offer a farm-to-feed diagnostic solution for customers.

The acquisition marks the third M&A deal involving Cawood that GCA Altium has supported on, having initially advised on its sale to Inflexion Private Equity in 2017 and again to Waterland in 2019.

Tom Perlitz, EBI President and CEO, said: “Cawood has more than just exceptional growth potential, it comes to us as a thriving business with a solid market position and great talent – built on a set of strong principles that very closely mirror the core values of EBI. This partnership will support both goals to expand our diagnostic offerings and extend our reach in European markets, and we could not be more pleased to welcome Cawood into the EBI family. On behalf of the EBI and EnviroLogix team, I would like to express our gratitude to GCA Altium for their advice and guidance throughout in delivering this outcome.”

Simon Parrington, who will continue as Cawood Group CEO, added: “Over the last 18 months Cawood has doubled in size, following significant investment in acquisitions, equipment and technology; and EBI is committed to supporting and guiding that strategic growth over the long term.”

Tom Battersby, Director at GCA Altium, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to represent the EBI and EnviroLogix teams on their acquisition of Cawood. The transaction is a compelling opportunity to drive a differentiated and added value proposition to participants across the food system supply chain on a global scale. We wish all at EBI, EnviroLogix and Cawood every success going forward.”

EBI were advised by a team from GCA Altium comprising Stuart Warriner, Adrian Reed, Tom Battersby, Rashma Begum and Nikhil Mali. Giles Elliot and team at Jones Day provided legal advice.

Waterland Private Equity were advised by Rothschild on M&A and Addleshaw Goddard provided legal advice.