Intertek Group plc acquires Tickford

Multinational assurance, inspection, product testing and certification company Intertek Group plc (Intertek; LSE: ITRK) has acquired Milton Keynes-based Tickford Test Technology Limited (Tickford), a UK market leading vehicle engine testing company. BCMS advised the shareholders of Tickford throughout the transaction.

“Identifying a partner who understood the investment model and had strategy plans in mind was important” – Tony Braddon, Tickford

Tickford tests petrol and diesel engines on behalf of manufacturers for a range of services including durability, performance and catalyst effectiveness, as well as testing fuels and lubricants for efficiency and government and industry environmental standards. Demand for Tickford’s leading-edge services is driven by developments in engine design to improve performance, fuel and emissions efficiency.

Once part of the Aston Martin group, Tickford has a long history of servicing the high-performance car industry, and the company was acquired to form part of Intertek’s Commercial & Electrical division. At the time of the transaction in 2012, Tickford complemented similar services provided by Intertek in the USA and Asia, and enabled both Intertek’s US and Asian customers to divert their European-based testing requirements directly to Tickford.

Post-acquisition, Intertek increased the workforce, and converted part of the site to handle battery testing for electric and hybrid vehicles. Today, the Tickford facility is the UK’s leading R&D hub for e-vehicle engine performance.

Deal commentary

There were clear benefits of acquisition for Intertek, as Wolfhart Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Intertek, explained at the time of the transaction: “Tickford is an excellent addition to the range of services Intertek supplies to manufacturers of engines, fuels and lubricants. Combining this highly reputable testing company with the similar services we provide from other locations will enable us to continue to provide a first-class service on a global basis to our customers, especially as demands for engine improvements continue to increase. I am delighted to welcome the company to Intertek.”

Speaking to BCMS after the deal, Tony Braddon of Tickford explained the motivation behind the sale. “We had reached a point where we needed a fresh impetus in the business rather than tinkering with organic changes. We wanted the business to undergo a step change, so identifying a partner who understood the investment model and had strategy plans in mind was important.”