Thursday 25th January 2007
HFL sold for £20.25m
HFL Ltd (HFL) has been sold by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) to Quotient BioResearch Limited (Quotient) for a cash consideration of £20.25m.
From today, HFL is in the ownership of Quotient, a Company owned by a consortium of investors including Paul Cowan (the former Chief Financial Officer of Inveresk Research Group Inc.), and the senior management team of HFL. Quotient has been formed with the intention of building a group of businesses focused on the provision of high quality analytical services - primarily to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
HBLB Chairman, Robert Hughes, said today:
"Quotient was selected after a rigorous and transparent tender process and we have full confidence in HFL's ability to continue to deliver high quality drug-testing services to Racing as well as to other clients, established and new.
"I am sure that the very professional and expert staff at the Laboratory will be pleased that the period of uncertainty which is inevitable at the time of a change of ownership is over. I am equally sure that they will be excited by the prospect of contributing to the realisation of Quotient's vision for the continued development of a world-class facility."
Quotient Chairman, Paul Cowan, commented:
"HFL represents a terrific opportunity for Quotient BioResearch. It has a unique position as a world leading drug surveillance laboratory and a provider of high quality analytical services to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. I look forward to working with its management and employees to continue the successful growth and development of these two interrelated business areas."
HFL Chief Executive, Dr David Hall said:
"HBLB has been a highly supportive owner for HFL over a great many years and has encouraged the development of the company's contract research business. The strategic vision of Quotient combined with the recent successful diversification of HFL bodes well for the future of integrity services to British Horseracing."
HBLB Chief Executive, Sir Tristram Ricketts, added:
"The net proceeds will be ring-fenced pending consultation with the Industry as to their investment. The Board will review the position at its annual Strategy Review meeting in late March."
Notes for Editors:
1. HFL is located on a 32 acre, purpose-built site near Fordham, Cambridgeshire and employs some 130 staff. HFL provides a research-backed drug screening service for British horseracing and provides services to other clients including the National Greyhound Racing Club, overseas turf authorities and pharmaceutical and healthcare clients.
2. HBLB was advised on the sale by Cavendish Corporate Finance Ltd.