The Private Equity team of international law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised management at Fera Science Limited (Fera) on a deal that sees Bridgepoint Development Capital (Bridgepoint) acquire a 75% stake which gives the business an enterprise value of £80m.

York-based Fera was established in 2015 as a joint venture between business process outsourcing and professional services company, Capita, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to create an expert science services business supporting food, farming and the natural environment market, and specialising in laboratory and in-field testing, applied research, advisory and laboratory proficiency assurance services. 

As part of the deal, the Fera senior management team and employees will remain with the business and members of management have subsequently invested into the business to support its future growth.

WBD's private equity team advised Fera's management team led by partner James Cook and supported by managing associate David Ridley, as well as employment associate Sandy Duncanson. Sentio Partners also provided corporate finance advice to the managers.

Jodie Roebuck, Chief Financial Officer of Fera, commented:

"Capita and Defra have partnered very effectively with Fera to help us grow and professionalise the business over the last eight years. We are excited to work with Bridgepoint as we embark on our next phase of growth and development. James, David, Sandy and the team at Womble Bond Dickinson provided exceptional advice and support for the management team regarding their investment into the business."

WBD's James Cook added:

"Fera is recognised as the UK’s authority and a leading global expert in sustainable agricultural practices and innovations in food production, successfully serving private sector and government customers in both the UK and overseas. We are very pleased to have worked with the management team to secure a positive outcome for all involved as the business continues to grow."