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£550m valuation as Scots company floated

£550m valuation as Scots  company floated

Materials testing firm Exova yesterday made its debut on the London Stock Exchange, achieving a £550million valuation.

The firm, which has an operation in Aberdeen, raised about £110million for selling shareholders, including senior management and private equity backer Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, with a further £110million going to the company.

The US investors bought the business from Cheshire-based Bodycote for £417million in 2008.

Outgoing Wood Group chairman Allister Langlands has joined the Edinburgh-based company’s board as its senior independent director.

The company runs 117 laboratories in 22 countries worldwide, providing testing services for a range of materials, components, products and systems.

Chief executive Ian El-Mokadem said: “As we join the London Stock Exchange, we very much look forward to life as a public company and to continuing to develop our global footprint and reputation for excellence over the coming years and delivering excellent service.”

Exova is Scotland’s first flotation on London’s main market since Livingston-based Energy Assets, which listed in March 2012.

The company employs 150 people in Edinburgh and around 60 people in Aberdeen and Glasgow out of its total global workforce of around 3,600.

Exova’s services include corrosion and coating testing for North Sea pipelines.

The company increased turnover 10% to £279million in 2013 on its prior year.

Fred Kindle, chairman of Exova, said: “Our teams around the world have built a strategically focused, financially successful company with a sustainable business model.

“Becoming a public company is a natural next step.”

He added: “I am delighted to welcome Allister Langlands to our board as senior independent director. Allister brings valuable public-company and industry experience to our team and we all look forward to working with him as Exova continues to grow.”

Mr Langlands is set to retire from the board of Wood Group next month at the company’s annual general meeting.

He has been with Wood Group since 1991, initially as finance director, then deputy chief executive and finally chairman.

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