Keensight Capital invests in Cardiff-Based CatSci Ltd 15th June 2022
Keensight Capital, a leading private equity manager dedicated to pan-European growth buyout investments, has invested in CatSci Ltd, a Contract Research Organisation (CRO) that supports leading global pharmaceutical companies to deliver life-changing therapeutics to patients around the world.
Based in Cardiff, CatSci was formed in December 2010 from a spin-out of AstraZeneca’s Catalyst Screening Facility by five founders, including the current co-owners Dr. Ross Burn (Chief Executive Officer) and Dr. Simon Tyler (Chief Operating Officer).
CatSci develops economically and environmentally sustainable drug manufacturing processes that enable its global pharmaceutical customers to create affordable small molecule therapeutics to address critical public health challenges, including antimicrobial resistance, cancer, and mental health.
The company, which has six operational laboratories across two UK sites including its headquarters in Cardiff, works internationally across 13 countries and with four of the top five global pharmaceutical companies. CatSci currently employs nearly 100 people, of which approximately 80% hold a PhD degree.
Thanks to its differentiated positioning, excellent track record, and highly skilled scientific workforce, CatSci enjoys consistently outstanding market and customer feedback which is reflected in its strong 30-40% per annum historic growth trajectory. Within just a few years, CatSci has won both locally and nationally recognised awards. 2022 success includes the highly esteemed “Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade”, and “Bionow Awards: Export of the Year Award”.
Keensight Capital will bring its expertise in successful track record of investments in the Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing (CRDMO) space across Europe and of course help accelerate growth via accretive M&A. This will enable CatSci to continue offering “more and better” to its customers so that they can deliver best-in-class medicines to patients worldwide.
Shaw & Co, the Bristol-based specialist corporate finance advisory firm, advised CatSci on the deal which will support continued expansion of its workforce, laboratories, equipment, and offerings.
Dr. Ross Burn, Chief Executive Officer, CatSci, and Dr. Simon Tyler, Chief Operating Officer, CatSci, said: “Keensight’s team has extensive experience in the CRDMO space across both small and large molecules, thus, making it the ideal team to partner with to accelerate our growth. Coupled to their impressive international network and expertise in delivering operational support to fast-growing companies, the support of the Keensight team will be key for the success of our expansion strategy going forward. We are very excited about this new partnership and can’t wait to write the future chapters of our success story together.”
Jim Shaw, CEO & Founder, Shaw & Co, said: “There has been an extraordinary amount of interest in CatSci and its offering thanks to the company’s enviable prospects for future growth. We have been able to add a significant amount of value for the client by running a competitive marketing process that has found CatSci an investment partner that will undoubtedly provide them with a strong foundation for further expansion. […] The deal demonstrates that there are certainly a number of viable financing options out there for any SME looking to fund their company’s future development and expansion.”
James Mitchell, Partner at Keensight Capital, commented: “We are delighted that Ross and Simon have chosen Keensight to support CatSci in its next stage of growth. We believe that CatSci has exceptionally strong potential in a large and continuously developing market which is expected to reach c.$75bn by 2030. Their unique positioning and strong expertise in small molecule R&D as well as their renowned high-quality scientific services and workforce make them a critical player in the CRO ecosystem. Keensight is proud to partner CatSci’s top class management team in their ambitions.”
CatSci was also advised by BDO (financial, tax, commercial), and Addleshaw Goddard (legal), while Keensight Capital was advised by Baird (corporate finance), KPMG (financial, tax, structuring), and Baker McKenzie (legal).
 Growth Buyout: investment in profitable, private companies experiencing strong growth, in minority or majority positions, with or without leverage, using a flexible approach tailored to the needs of individual entrepreneurs, in order to finance organic growth projects, acquisition strategies or provide historic shareholders with liquidity
 Combines capabilities of CRO and CDMO, or “Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation”