September 2023: Kester Capital (“Kester”), the UK lower mid-market private equity specialist, today announced its investment in GXP Engaged, a leading provider of Good Clinical/Pharmacovigilance Practice (GCP/GVP) audit and related consulting services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.
The investment represents Kester’s sixth investment in the Life Sciences sector, and the second investment out of its latest fund, Kester Capital III. This transaction cements Kester’s reputation as one of the leading life sciences investors in the UK private equity market. Earlier this year, Kester acquired MAP Patient Access, a provider of market access consulting services and, last month, announced the acquisition of Biopharmics by its portfolio company, Optibrium, one of the leading software providers to the drug discovery market. Kester also recently exited Avania, the global medical technology CRO, generating a 8.4x return.
With offices in the UK, Germany and Austria, to support its global operations, GXP Engaged is a fast-growing business with an exceptional reputation for providing high-quality, third-party audit services to the biopharma market. It also provides related consulting services. The business has a proven track record of impressive growth and counts several of the largest global pharma companies as long-standing clients.
GXP Engaged is well-positioned to benefit from strong market tailwinds, including an increasingly onerous and rigorously enforced regulatory environment, the continued growth of the global drug development pipeline, and the increasing propensity of biopharma to outsource non-core functions. This partnership with Kester will allow GXP Engaged to build its global presence rapidly, both organically as well as through strategic acquisitions.
Following the acquisition, Ian Montague, an experienced life science auditing senior executive, whom Kester has known for several years, will transition from his current role as Chief Commercial Officer to lead the business as CEO. In addition, André van de Sande, who has held several executive, NED and Chair roles in the life sciences sector, will join as Chair.
Ian Montague, incoming CEO, said: “I am delighted to be working alongside the team at Kester Capital. GXP Engaged is well-positioned to accelerate its growth and Kester’s long and successful track record in the Life Sciences sector makes it the perfect partner as we move into this next exciting phase.”
Barbara Heumann, outgoing Managing Director, said: “I am incredibly proud to have grown GXP Engaged into the business it is today and am delighted to be handing over to Ian, André and the Kester team. I am confident their collective experience and expertise, supported by the incumbent team, will help GXP Engaged to achieve great success.
Adam Maidment, Managing Partner of Kester Capital, said: “This is a sector that Kester knows well and GXP Engaged is a well-established provider of audit and consulting services to some of the largest pharma companies in the world. It has an excellent reputation, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Ian, André and the existing team to accelerate growth of the business, both organically and through acquisition.”