Home testing business boosted by £10m PE investment

Mauro Biagioni

NVM Private Equity has completed a £10m investment into Yorkshire-based YorkTest Laboratories Limited.

YorkTest is a health and wellbeing company with over 40 years of expertise in food intolerance and allergy testing in the home-to-laboratory test market.

The company has recently diversified into the US where it is building on its UK reputation.

The investment from NVM is to be used to enable the firm to expand its current product range targeting the launch of 10 new home health tests this financial year, invest in more laboratory equipment, and continue its expansion into new markets, including the US market, which currently represents a very small proportion of the overall sales.

As part of the transaction Richard Millman will join the Board as non-executive chair.

He is the former managing director of a PC World group business, part of the Dixon’s Retail Group and the former CEO of Total Fitness, the PE backed gym chain.

He currently also chairs Protein Works, a global direct to consumer sports nutrition business and Vivify Venues, a tech enabled sports and leisure venue marketplace.

Millman said: “It’s an exciting time for the sector, as people take more ownership of their own health, particularly following the challenges of the pandemic.

“The business is already seeing a shift in consumer behaviour and the rise in online sales across its portfolio of home health tests.

“With significant investment in cloud-based technology, laboratory expertise and strong scientific credentials at its core, YorkTest is well positioned to achieve significant growth over the coming years.”

CEO of YorkTest, Richard Dawson, said “YorkTest is well positioned to replicate our success in the UK food intolerance and allergy testing market in the USA, having recently launched our new US ecommerce platform.

“At the same time, we remain the UK market leaders in food intolerance and allergy testing, whilst investing to expand our wider range of home-to-laboratory blood tests in the UK.

“We look forward to working with both Richard and NVM to implement our ambitious growth plans.”

The transaction has been led by Andy Leach, Mauro Biagioni and Oliver Wildig. Biagioni and Leach will represent NVM’s interest on the Board.

Biagioni said: “Under the leadership of CEO, Richard Dawson, the management team has built a robust business which is extremely well regarded in the home testing market.

“We are confident that with today’s investment the business is now suitability capitalised to enable the team to deliver their vision and we are happy to be able to support them on that journey.”

Advisors for the investment were:

Commercial Due Diligence Fairgrove Partners Paddy Woods Ballard & Viesturs Bemhens
Financial Due Diligence Mazars Tarifa Simpson & Ben Winder

IT Due Diligence Intechnica Lionel Lamy, David Bamber & Oliver Burnill

Management Due Diligence Continuum Steve Wycherley

Insurance Due Diligence Lockton Kevin Stout

Tax Structuring PwC Stuart Stalker & Scott Moffat

NVM Lawyers Squire Patton Boggs Paul Mann, Hannah Crosland & Josh Lodge

Vendor Lawyers Walker Morris John Hamer, Sam Bellagha and Amy Walton

Management Lawyers Ward Hadaway Jonathan Pollard

Management Tax Structuring Tax Advisory Partnership Russ Cahill and Helen Mallalieu

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