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3 August, 2022 - 11:27 By Tony Quested

Foresight aplenty as Agar Scientific is bought by California group

Stansted-based Agar Scientific, a global leader in the distribution and manufacture of electron microscopy consumables, has been sold for an undisclosed sum to Molecular Dimensions Ltd – a subsidiary of Los Angeles company Calibre Scientific Inc.

The deal was led by Michael Jewell, Partner at finnCap Cavendish, supported by Sam Kavanagh, Associate Director and MJ Murphy, Associate. Birketts contributed legal expertise, with Haines Watts providing tax advice.

Agar has supplied scientific instruments and accessories internationally for more than 40 years, specialising in consumables and equipment supporting all forms of microscopy. The Agar management team will move across to Calibre as part of the deal.

Foresight Group, an infrastructure and regional private equity investment manager, announced the sale of its portfolio company. It says that post-investment Agar Scientific has doubled sales, grown margins and become a globally recognised brand.

The deal is the 14th exit by Foresight’s Private equity team in 18 months and follows the recent exits of TFC (12.6x money) and Codeplay (15.7x money).

Foresight invested to support the Agar management team in its buyout from Cambridge-based Elektron Technology plc in 2016. Foresight worked closely with the team to structure the carve-out and the strategic plan, appointing an industry veteran chairman and supporting the business through COVID-19 lockdowns.

Foresight’s investment supported the Agar management team to develop a suite of own-manufactured, products alongside its distributed range. This materially grew the brand and increased customer loyalty. 

Agar is now regarded as the world’s leading supplier of equipment and consumables into a market that is growing by 10 per cent per year. Its products are used in industrial and research labs across the globe, in applications from research science to microchip manufacture and forensic investigation.

Darren Likely, managing director at Agar Scientific, said: “The expertise and support provided by Foresight has provided us with the platform for the next phase of our growth.”

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