West Lothian-based testing laboratory Express Micro Science changes hands

Express Micro Science (EMS), a microbiology and food chemistry testing laboratory based in West Lothian, has been acquired by a major independent scientific group – and is targeting expansion as a result of the deal.

Linlithgow-based EMS performs microbiological testing services for the food, leisure, agriculture, and pharmaceutical industries to ensure products are safe for use and consumption.

Berkshire-based Cawood, which is focused on independent research, laboratory analysis, and monitoring for the land-based industries, has bought the firm, saying the deal takes it into a new market for food safety testing, extending its agrifood capability to the whole supply chain.

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EMS performs microbiological testing services for the food, leisure, agriculture, and pharmaceutical industries (file image). Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

EMS will operate as a division of Cawood, in a moved billed as strengthening the group’s geographic reach and creating opportunities for both businesses. The corporate team at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, led by partner George Danczak, advised Cawood on the transaction, terms of which were not disclosed.

Jennifer Newton, managing director of EMS, welcomed the company’s new ownership “as our businesses are totally aligned… Becoming part of Cawood will allow us to grow and invest in our capabilities and capacity with the backing of the wider group”.

Simon Parrington, Cawood’s group chief executive, said: “The Cawood group already has a leadership position in agricultural analysis. With EMS, we are now in a unique position to provide an end-to-end service for agrifood, starting with soil and plant tissue analysis for farmers and ecotoxicology testing for crop inputs. Now we can take food all the way through the chain up to quality control analysis for food on supermarket shelves all over the UK.

“EMS has an excellent reputation for analytical testing and innovative solutions within the food safety sector. This fits perfectly with our strategy of extending our services to meet increasing customer needs and support a safer, healthier planet. Both Cawood and our new parent company, Ensign Bickford-Industries, are ready to support and invest in EMS as it continues to grow.”

EMS was established in 2003, and says it is one of the UK’s leading testing facilities to the food and beverage, agricultural, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and hotel and leisure sectors – working with the likes of Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

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