Yesterday Exova became part of the Element Materials Technology Group, one of the world’s most highly respected testing and product qualification businesses.

The combined company, which is majority owned by Bridgepoint, an international private equity firm, now has more than 6,200 employees and will operate in the future as Element Materials Technology. The new Element Group will consist of 200 laboratories located in more than 30 countries.

Exova will continue to operate ‘business as usual’ under its new ownership and name, and a full programme of organisational integration is underway to introduce beneficial processes and procedures across the group as the Exova team becomes part of the Element community.

Ian El-Mokadem, the former CEO of Exova, has moved on from the business to pursue other opportunities while Element’s CEO Charles Noall takes responsibility for the combined company, alongside a new Executive Team made up of senior management from both companies.

This latest acquisition by Element follows a period of significant growth for the business, helping it to become the fastest growing independent materials testing and product qualification company in the world.

It is expected that the combined group will deliver in excess of $700m in annual revenues and serve more than 40,000 customers worldwide.

Commenting on the acquisition, Charles Noall said: “We have a clear strategy for growth and this acquisition is a major milestone for Element.

Our ambition is to enhance our ability to support customers across their worldwide programmes. With more laboratories and even greater technical strength, our combined company has the scale, capacity and expertise to service the increasingly diverse needs of our clients.

The combined group is the leading testing provider in the global aerospace and oil and gas sectors, a market leader in European fire and building safety and the US transportation and automotive testing market. Our focus will be to maintain these positions as well as explore the many new market opportunities now open to us.”

Charles added: “Having already acquired a total of 17 businesses in recent years, we are very experienced in implementing procedures and processes in bringing businesses and people together. A programme of integration and strategic brand alignment is already underway with the aim of continuing to deliver best practice while introducing our new colleagues into the Element community.

Our guiding principle is to continue to be the best and most trusted testing partner in all of the sectors we serve”.

To support the acquisition, Element has fully refinanced its existing banking facilities and raised $1.4 billion of first and second lien term debt, alongside $150 million of committed ancillary facilities.

Jo Wetz, Element Group’s CFO commented: “This has been a highly successful financing which was 4x oversubscribed with offers of over $4 billion from our investment base demonstrating the confidence that our banking group has in Element.”