Maven VCTs exit Crawford Scientific with 4.5x return
Maven has exited its investment in Crawford Scientific (Crawford), a leading supplier of chromatography products and analytical services to the laboratory research and testing sectors, following its sale to Limerston Capital Partners. The sale realised a return for Maven clients of 4.5x the initial investment in just over three years, with an IRR of 70%.
Since investing in August 2014, Maven has worked collaboratively with the business to execute a number of strategic initiatives, including the acquisition of Hall Analytical Laboratories which Maven’s clients also funded. Following the acquisition, Crawford critically increased its global reach, entering new markets in the US, China and Europe, leveraging Hall’s reputation for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and environmental analysis and more recently e-cigarette testing.
During the past three years Crawford’s turnover and headcount have both doubled and profitability has almost trebled, as a result of both the successful acquisition of Hall Analytical and the robust organic growth achieved across its distribution and knowledge transfer divisions. David Milroy and Alan Robertson led both the investment and exit on behalf of Maven with David also having served as Chairman of the Crawford Board.
The investment from Limerston will enable Crawford to enter its next phase of expansion and capitalise on the trend of continued out-sourcing across a range of sectors most notably the pharmaceuticals industry. The business will continue to be led by the senior management team of Sam Crawford, Scott Fletcher, Anthony Taylor with the support of the Limerston operating partner team.
Dr David Milroy, Investment Director at Maven said: “It was obvious during our very first meeting that Crawford had something special in terms of its technical know-how, customer service and strong culture and it has been a real pleasure working with this talented and dynamic management team over the past three years. This investment has of course also been a huge success for Maven, delivering a 4.5x money multiple return and 70% IRR for our clients. I am confident that Limerston will enjoy a similarly fruitful relationship with the Crawford team and we wish both every success as they grow the business.”
Sam Crawford, Managing Director at Crawford added: “Maven’s investment and guidance has enabled the Crawford Scientific Group to deliver growth targets ahead of plan and timetable. We have very much enjoyed our time working with the Maven team and look forward to growing the business further with our new partners, Limerston Capital Partners.”
The sale of Crawford represents Maven's 12th exit since January 2014, including five realisations since September 2015 that have delivered investor returns of between 2.1x and 7.1x on the original investment.