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Qualitest announced that Bridgepoint, an international private equity group, has agreed to take a majority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum, replacing current investor Marlin Equity Partners as majority owner.
Norm Merritt, CEO of Qualitest, said: "We're excited to have found a strong growth partner in Bridgepoint. They are thoughtful investors who seek to work with strong management teams and have a history of investing in high growth potential markets. Their long-term capital commitment provides us with the platform to accelerate the next stage of our development and execute our global acquisition strategy so that we can continue delivering outstanding value to our customers."
Xavier Robert, Partner and head of Bridgepoint's investment activities in the UK, said: "We share management's ambitions for the expansion of Qualitest's platform through a combination of further organic growth and selective M&A. In a structurally growing market where technology disrupts every industry, new standards for quality and business assurance are required. Qualitest stands out for its track record of delivery and level of expertise."
Jan Fillols, Managing Director of Marlin Equity Partners, said: "Qualitest is an exceptional business which, under our ownership, has become the world's leading pure-play software testing and quality assurance company. With its market leading proposition in an industry experiencing multiple tailwinds we believe it is well positioned for continued success."
Bridgepoint estimates that Qualitest operates in a market that is growing at 13% p.a. driven by the increasing needs of a $32bn global outsourced market where software performance has become more business critical. Bridgepoint's track record in the testing market includes its current investment in Element, the global leader in materials and product qualification testing in the aerospace, oil & gas, fire and transportation markets, as well as a prior investment in LGC, an international life sciences measurement and testing group.
Advisers involved in this transaction included:
Bridgepoint: (Corporate Finance) Raymond James, (Legal) A&O, (Commercial) Bain, (Financial) Deloitte, (Tax) EY
Marlin: (Corporate Finance) Jefferies and GCA Altium, (Legal) Travers Smith, (Commercial) McKinsey, (Financial & Tax) Deloitte
Management: (Corporate Finance) Jamieson Corporate Finance, (Legal) Joelson (Financial & Tax) Blick Rothenberg