Inspicio acquires Australian Kalassy

3i-backed Inspicio has purchased two Australian laboratories for a total consideration of €15.17m. Leonora Laverton Assay Laboratory and Yilgarn Assay Laboratory, which trade collectively as Kalassy, are based in Perth. Kalassy provides exploration and mine assaying services, specialising in precious metals, base metals and iron ore. The business has about 90 employees.

3i bought Inspicio at the beginning of the month. Shareholders speaking for 53% of its share capital accepted the offer from 3i. This valued the testing and inspection business at £229m (€302m), or 225p a share. When the proposal was set out on December 13, 20.2% of shareholders gave irrevocable backing to accept the offer. The bid came at a 17.8% premium to the 191p price on October 11, when the support services group said it was first in talks.

Chief executive Mark Silver and finance director Richard McBride are leading the buyout with support from chairman Keith Tozzi. Silver and McBride will reinvest all their profits from the company sale back in the bid vehicle.

In total, 3i’s bidding vehicle now has valid acceptances representing 76.7% of Inspicio shares. The offer has been extended until January 17. Rothschild advised 3i, with JPMorgan Cazenove acting as broker. Citi acted for Inspicio in both capacities and Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander provided a Rule 3 fairness opinion to the board. Landsbanki and Altium also advised Inspicio.

In December, 3i also acquired Ultralase, a UK laser clinic group, for £174.5m (€230m). Corporacion Dermoestetica, Spain’s largest plastic surgery provider, sold the business at the end of December. Exclusive talks with 3i were conducted in November last year.

The transaction provides a return to private equity ownership for Ultralase, which was bought by Granville Baird Capital Partners in January 2000 for total investment of £5.5m. Following a 10-fold increase in revenues and an expansion from two to 12 clinics, Granville sold the company to Corporacion Dermoestetica for £30m in May 2005. That exit provided a 3.8 times return for Granville and the current £174.5m sale should generate a strong profit for the Spanish group.