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Independent food safety testing laboratory

Acquisition of a 100% stake of AQUIMISA Group by ALS Group (a listed company) THE VECTOR COMPANY advised AQUIMISA Group in the transaction

General Overview

Aquimisa Group is formed by a group of companies with subsidiaries in Spain, Portugal and Brazil.

The company was involved in providing food safety test services (chemical and microbiological tests) and consulting services in the areas of food safety and quality controls.

The Spanish TIC (Test Inspection Certification) sector was structured mainly by large multinational companies (some of them listed and others owned by private equity funds) or by small private owned companies, but  Aquimisa Group was one of the large private owned players in the market (with approximately 350 employees and an estimated market share of 10% – 15%).

The sector was performing a very dynamic M&A activity around the world so many deals had been closing. So different groups approached to the company proposing corporate transactions and joint ventures.

Strategic Rationale

The company presented a unique opportunity for one of the international players of the sector in Spain who wanted to take a relevant position in the Spanish market, acquiring one of the few large independent players.

Additionally both Aquimisa and the buyer owned subsidiary companies in the Portuguese market that could be merge to take advantage of the synergies in this market.

Key learnings

Transactions with foreign listed companies require to prepare deep information about the business (in English) and to understand their approval and decision-making systems to frame the management of the transaction process accordingly.

When the group is formed by many different companies, with different sizes, in different country legislations, some of them audited but others not, it is necessary to structure a homogeneous and consolidated information data pack to explain the evolution of the main figures of the group appropriately.

On the other hand, the diversity of many minority shareholders in the different companies requires the alignment of all of them for closing the deal, which is not easy.

In sectors that are very active in M&A there are two main positions, to grow making acquisitions or to sell to the players that will make the build-up in the sector. Remaining in an intermediate situation can be dangerous (unless the leader companies in a niche market, and even though, this enviable position can not be perpetual)