Petri Dish

Arch Sciences group

We transformed Arch Sciences into a fast growing international consolidation platform, through investment in new laboratories and accretive aquisitions in new geographies.


What we did

Arch Sciences is an independent provider of outsourced services and solutions to the laboratory research and testing sector. The Company’s business model combines specialist analytical testing with expert knowledge, training, automation and consumables, to offer leading pharmaceutical, research and laboratory testing providers an end-to-end service.

Limerston Capital has been working on the lab testing market since 2016 leveraging on the experience of its operating partners. The market is attractive due to its limited exposure to the broader economy, high barriers to entry from the technical nature of testing and the opportunity for consolidation. We identified chromatography as an attractive niche with sound fundamentals and Arch Sciences (then Crawford Scientific) as a differentiated player which covered more than one product line. Following the initial approach Limerston was able to develop a strong relationship with the founder and the management team which ultimately lead to  bilateral negotiations that resulted  in the acquisition  of Crawford Scientigic.


We were attracted to the investment by the stability of the business, strong cash flow conversion and the opportunity for re-investing cashflows and accretive M&A in the fragmented UK and US market.

Post-acquisition, we led an upgrade in management structure with a number of senior hires to lay foundations for growth.


We worked with the management to strategically focus on high margin end-markets and in 2018, we acquired the US-based niche testing specialist VR Analytical to create an international footprint, increase capacity and expand into biopharma end market.


In the UK, we invested in a new state-of-the-art lab facility that tripled capacity and future-proofed the business. We made two further acquisitions in UK and Ireland thatenhanced the group’s reputation as knowledge-driven service provider and further expand the international footprint.

How we exited

In July 2021, we successfully sold the business to a strategic buyer Element Materials. 

Scientist with Test Tubes

Key takeaways


Year Invested


Deal Type

Private sale




Exit Date

July 2021

Exit Route

Strategic buyer


Internal Rate of Return

3 Add-ons

Creating an unrivalled science testing force in the marketplace.


Accross the UK, Ireland and North America.