The Native Antigen Company Limited, (NAC) the Oxford-based supplier of native and recombinant viral and bacterial antigens, antibodies and immunoassays has been sold for £18 million to Middlesex-headquartered LGC, a global leader in the life sciences tools sector.
Sold by Mercia Asset Management PLC, the asset manager held a 29.4 per cent fully diluted direct holding in NAC at the date of sale and will receive initial cash proceeds of £4.8million, with up to a further £0.4million receivable upon finalisation of customary closing working capital calculations.
The sale is anticipated to generate an 8.4 return on its original direct investment cost and a 65% internal rate of return.
Michael Sweatt, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Clinical Diagnostics, LGC, said: “NAC is a natural fit with our clinical diagnostics business and will enable us to provide an expanded portfolio of critical reagents to our customers. NAC’s focus on infectious disease is highly complementary with our existing offer to this segment comprising controls, reference materials, MDx tools and other components. We are excited to welcome our new colleagues into our organisation.”
“We are delighted to be joining LGC as an integral part of their fast growing clinical diagnostics business”, said Nick Roesen, COO of NAC, “even more so, we are excited to join such a well-respected organisation that shares our purpose and mission, and that will support our diagnostic customers by providing even more world-leading products and services.”
Founded in 2010, as a divestiture from a University of Birmingham spinout company, NAC has become one of the world’s leading suppliers of infectious disease reagents and is widely acknowledged to be a primary source of reagents for the study of emerging diseases.
Dr Mark Payton, Mercia Asset Management, CEO, said: “Keeping to our commitment of realising balance sheet investments within a three to seven year period from initial investment, NAC is the fourth full cash exit from our direct investment portfolio. It has been an excellent investment for Mercia and this sale is a strong demonstration of the value which our differentiated model can create; for investors in our managed funds, shareholders in Mercia and the founders we back. NAC is an example of an innovative regional business sourced through Mercia’s network, supported initially by our managed fund capital and then scaled using our own balance sheet capital.