World leading manufacturer of calorimetry instruments sold to AIM listed Judges Scientific Plc

Posted on 3rd June 2020
Blake Morgan and WK Corporate Finance have advised on the sale of Heath Scientific Company Limited to AIM listed Judges Scientific plc in a transaction worth up to £7.3m.

Heath Scientific, through its subsidiaries Thermal Hazard Technology Limited and THT Inc, specialises in the design, manufacture and sale of instruments used to measure the thermal properties of lithium batteries and other reactive materials. Its main product, the Accelerating Rate Calorimeter, is a key tool to improve and verify the safety of lithium batteries, commonly used in the growing markets of electronic devices and electric vehicles, as well as other chemical reactions.

Heath Scientific employs 27 staff from its main site in Bletchley and has a sales office in the USA.  Turnover and Adjusted EBIT for the year ended 30 April 2019 was £4.4m and £0.9m respectively.

Judges Scientific plc is focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector.  The acquired companies are primarily UK-based with products sold worldwide to a diverse range of niche markets, with long term growth fundamentals and resilient margins.  Judges Scientific now consists of 18 businesses acquired since it was re-admitted to AIM in 2005.

“Heath Scientific is a world leading business in a focused global niche, selling quality products which are indispensable to the safety of the public. This cash generative and earnings enhancing acquisition fits within the Judges disciplined acquisition strategy,” commented Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific.

Rob Holmes, Partner at WK Corporate Finance said: “We are delighted to have assisted the shareholders with this sale and are confident that the business will continue to go from strength to strength under new ownership.  This transaction demonstrates that there remains to be an appetite for acquisitions for high quality businesses operating in niche and defensible markets, despite current economic challenges.”

James Hawkeswood, Partner in Blake Morgan’s corporate team added: “When we started work on this transaction we had no idea of the momentous changes society was about to go through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That the parties were willing and able to see the deal through to its conclusion, and their advisers were able to overcome the various logistical and practical problems caused by lockdown, is testament to the quality and resilience of all the teams involved, and proof that good deals will still get done in even the most trying of circumstances.”

WK Corporate Finance (Rob Holmes, Partner and Louis Nutland, Manager) and Blake Morgan (James Hawkeswood, Partner and Dan Conway, Senior Solicitor) advised the shareholders of Heath Scientific.  Judges Scientific were advised by Dechert (legal), Grant Thornton (financial due diligence) and Deloitte (tax due diligence).

Speaking of their advisers, Martyn Ottaway, Managing Director of Heath Scientific Company said: “This sale was far from simple.  Our company had a US and India operation and 95% of products were exported with China the largest market.  After finding the most appropriate buyer and negotiating the best terms, the teams at WK Corporate Finance and Blake Morgan worked tirelessly to drive the deal forwards and reach a successful conclusion, whilst protecting our interests throughout.

“We were delighted with the way the transaction was handled from start to finish.  We were guided expertly through all the stages of the deal, and knew our advisers were always working hard for us.  Even when we found ourselves having to conclude the negotiations in the middle of the lock-down they were pragmatic, reassuring and tactically insightful.  We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”

For further details, please contact Rob Holmes at WK Corporate Finance on 07812 997165 or James Hawkeswood at Blake Morgan on 07931 316884.

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