Watersheds assists with animal forensic firm acquisition

By Ben Carey on 6 May, 2022

Swindon corporate finance firm Watersheds has supported forensic services company Cellmark in the acquisition of a new business.

Cellmark has purchased Pinmoore Animal Laboratory Services Ltd (PALS) which is one of the few independent veterinary testing and diagnostics companies in the UK. Based in Cheshire, PALS works with a wide range of animal samples from veterinary practices, farms, wildlife parks and zoos.

Providing a wide range of laboratory testing services focused particularly on forensic investigation, DNA analysis and toxicology, Cellmark also works across the majority of UK police forces.

The acquisition of the niche independent firm PALS is Cellmark’s first move into the veterinary diagnostics sector.

Yuri Fernandes, a partner with Watersheds, said, “We were engaged by Cellmark in late 2020 as they embarked on their journey to grow and diversify their business through acquisitions, with a view to both strengthening their existing markets, and also entering new ones.  Following this strategy we reached out into the marketplace to identify suitable businesses that met Cellmark’s criteria, but also shared the same values of professionalism, integrity, and customer service.

“Following an initial discussion, it became clear that PALS would be an excellent fit and we were able to construct a valuation and transaction structure rapidly that suited both parties. The acquisition will provide the exotic animal diagnostics company with the support and operational resources needed for it to grow, as well as development opportunities for its employees.”

Cellmark’s Managing Director David Hartshorne, said, “Watersheds completely understood our brief and searched for and found exactly the type of company that we wanted to acquire. We were particularly impressed that they sourced opportunities that weren’t necessarily on the open market, and that we almost certainly wouldn’t have found on our own. They were able to react promptly, quickly resolving any issues that arose throughout the process by providing both parties with commercial and pragmatic solutions.”