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Limerston Capital acquires Concept Life Sciences, the second deal in Limerston's new fund.

New leadership team, led by Dr Ben Cliff, will drive growth in pharmaceutical development and discovery & biologics

3 April 2023 – Limerston Capital LLP (Limerston Capital) has announced the acquisition of Concept Life Sciences, a leading integrated drug discovery, development and manufacturing organisation, in a carve-out from Spectris plc through its new fund Limerston Capital Partners II, LP. The deal, Limerston’s fourth platform deal in the life sciences space, will see Concept Life Sciences cement its position at the forefront of the pharmaceutical and life science sectors and provide it with a platform for further growth.

Concept Life Sciences is an established contract research organisation (CRO), primarily serving the global research and development market, with clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space ranging from blue chip to virtual biotech. The breadth and depth of its expertise is unparalleled in Europe and ranges from drug discovery and early development through to API manufacturing at multi kilogram scale under good manufacturing practice (GMP), which is delivered as a single service or as part of wider discovery and development programmes.

Underlining its commitment to remaining at the front of its sector, Concept Life Sciences has invested significantly in its capabilities since 2020. It has developed world class biology facilities in oncology and immunology, ensuring unmatched insights into fast-growing specialty therapeutic areas and driving innovation.

Its team of around 300 accomplished scientists and over 100 PhDs operate from state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, strategically located in major science hubs across the UK.

Newly appointed CEO, Dr Ben Cliff, will head a dynamic senior leadership team. Dr. Cliff will be responsible for a new growth strategy which will see Concept Life Sciences take advantage of its increased commercial and technical flexibility to build and expand its services to a new and existing client base.

Cliff has been part of the Concept Life Sciences senior team for five years and brings a wealth of leadership experience in the CRO industry from Intertek Pharmaceutical Services supporting the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and specialty chemical sectors. His experience covers all aspects of the business including operations, sales and marketing, quality and strategic development.

Limerston Capital is a private equity firm targeting UK businesses with EBITDA of between £5 million and £15 million. It partners with management teams to help build them into industry leaders through buy-and-build and operational transformation.

Ben Cliff, CEO of Concept Life Sciences said: “Limerston Capital will be an excellent partner for our business, allowing us much greater commercial and technical focus so we can realise the company’s true potential and deliver the high value service our customers depend on to support their R&D activities.”

“As well as the benefit of providing additional investment, Limerston Capital’s fully-integrated and dedicated operational and investment team will be invaluable to support the carve-out and accelerate our growth.”

Jane Grewar, Senior Operating Partner of Limerston Capital, added: “We see enormous potential for the Concept Life Sciences business which is well positioned to benefit from high growth in the CRO market, with its strong pipeline of high-value, rapidly-growing services and a focus on highly invested therapeutic areas. The company’s excellent track record, highly-skilled team of scientists and industry-leading facilities, particularly in the high-growth areas of immunology, oncology and inflammation, make it a very attractive investment for Limerston Capital. We’re excited to be partnering with such a capable team.”

For more information, please contact:

Martim Avillez, Limerston Capital Founding Partner


Caroline Villiers +44 (0)7808 585184

Charlotte Balbirnie +44 (0)7989 528421

About Limerston Capital

Founded in 2015 by James Paget, João Rosa and Martim Avillez, London based Limerston Capital pursues control investments in UK mid-market companies and seeks to create value through the firm’s buy-and-build and operationally focused model. The firm targets businesses with EBITDA of between £5 million and £15 million that have a solid value proposition, but have potential for operational improvements, have mispriced underlying returns on capital and provide opportunities for strategic repositioning via consolidation.

About Concept Life Sciences

Founded in 1989, Concept Life Sciences is a leading global contract research organisation primarily serving the pharmaceutical and life sciences research and development market. With an excellent track record in project execution, delivering tangible value for customers’ IP generation, and stringent focus on quality, the company has around 300 employees and operates out of five state of the art facilities.


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