Dr Catherine Booth, one of Epistem’s founders, led the buyout
Dr Catherine Booth, one of Epistem’s founders, led the buyout
Richard Bell

Foresight backs £2m buyout at Manchester life sciences firm Epistem

Private equity investment manager Foresight Group has announced a £2m deal to back a management buyout (MBO) of contract research company Epistem from AIM-listed genedrive plc.

Manchester-headquartered Epistem, a life sciences business with facilities in the US, provides research services for pre-clinical and clinical development.

It focuses on several therapeutic areas, among them oncology and inflammatory diseases.

Foresight’s investment will support the management team’s growth plans and enable the business to expand its offering and strengthen its sales and marketing activities.

Dr Catherine Booth, one of Epistem’s founders, led the buyout. She will have the support of an executive team that includes operations director and co-founder Julie Tudor, and a newly appointed sales director and finance director.

Dr Catherine Booth said: “We are delighted to partner with Foresight. Epistem has huge potential for growth and development.

“We have a clear list of initiatives for enhancing and expanding the business and are looking forward to meeting all our targets with the financial and strategic support of the team at Foresight.”

Corporate finance firm Bamburgh Capital advised Dr Booth on the buyout from genedrive. Bamburgh also sourced the funding from Foresight.

Matthew Pomroy, investment manager at Foresight’s office in Manchester, commented: “Epistem is a prime example of the type of company Foresight likes to support, a differentiated and customer-focused business with market leading expertise.

“Cath’s dedication and long-term involvement, combined with the new expertise from incoming Chairman Dr Nick Ash, gives us confidence that we will see the business go from strength-to-strength. We look forward to working with the team in the coming years.”

As part of the deal, Foresight introduced an experienced industry non-executive chairman to Epistem – Dr Nick Ash, former CEO of lab services business Source BioScience plc.

Dr Nick Ash said: “I am looking forward to working with Cath and the management team at Epistem to accelerate the growth of the business, and build a Company that excels in customer service and provides an outstanding environment in which to work.”

The investment is the ninth from Foresight’s North West Regional Investment Fund.

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