Bond Dickinson has advised the Sopemea Group (Sopemea), a French environmental testing company, on its acquisition of Product Assessment and Reliability Centre Ltd (PARC), a South West-based industrial testing laboratory.

The acquisition will enable Sopemea to position itself in the UK testing market and open up new opportunities for its customers on both sides of the Channel. The PARC laboratory operates a wide range of mechanical and climatic tests including vibrations and shocks, climate, salt spray, sealing and altitude, HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing).

Located in Bideford and in relative proximity to Hinkley Point, PARC was founded about twenty years ago.

The Bond Dickinson team advising Sopemea on the transaction was led by Corporate partner Tom Fitzpatrick and Solicitor Claire Jeffery.

Tom Fitzpatrick, Partner, said: "We are delighted to have advised Sopemea on its first UK acquisition. It is great to be working with an increasing number of overseas trade and financial buyers looking to invest in the UK."

Stéphane Torrez, Chairman of the Sopemea Group, commented: “This acquisition is a great opportunity to establish a base outside our borders for the first time and in a territory with a huge potential. PARC gives us the opportunity to support our customers’ international activities by being present locally and offering them a full range of testing and maintenance services."

Bond Dickinson provides legal expertise from eight offices in the UK and across a number of sectors including, energy, manufacturing, transport, retail, insurance, real estate, financial institutions and private wealth.

Later this year Bond Dickinson will combine with Womble Carlyle to create a new law firm – Womble Bond Dickinson. Womble Bond Dickinson will have more than 420 partners, 1,000 lawyers and 2,395 people across eight offices in the UK and 16 offices in the US. The combination will put Womble Bond Dickinson in the UK's top 20 and in the top 80 in the US listings.