Suitors circle industrial testing giant Exova that counts London Underground among clients

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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All the potential bidders have been given until 24 April to make an offer to buy the FTSE-350 firm (Source: Getty)

Buyers are circling Exova, a laboratory-based testing giant, for a possible cash offer.

Industrial giant Element Materials Technology, Zurich-based investment firm Jacobs Holding and private equity house PAI Partners have submitted proposals to snap up the firm, Exova confirmed in a statement.

All the potential bidders have been given until 24 April to make an offer to buy the FTSE-350 firm.

Goldman Sachs is acting as adviser on the deal and is weighing up potential suitors for the Edinburgh-based business.

The idea of selling Exova was reportedly floated by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), the American private equity giant that is keen to sell its controlling stake or finalise a deal for the whole company.

CD&R is mulling a 220p offer price, the Sunday Times reported.

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Exova’s share price has rallied from 185p over the last few months amid takeover rumours.

Shares closed down 0.51 per cent at 218.8p last week.

Exova, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, has over 4,000 employees. Last month, the company reported a 7.7 per cent increase in adjusted pre-tax profit to £43.5m for 2016 while revenue grew 10.8 per cent to £328.6m.

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Exova counts London Underground as one of its clients. The industrial testing giant worked with the transport operator on fire testing for a number of years. It also helped London Underground to develop fire safety standards across its network. Other clients include oil giant Chevron, Hitachi, Airbus and Dubai Metro.

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