Cawood, one of the UK’s leading independent scientific groups, has announced it has been acquired by the US corporation, Ensign-Bickford Industries (EBI) from Waterland Private Equity.

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, EBI is a 185-year-old privately held corporation with diversified businesses in aerospace and defence, molecular diagnostics, and pet food palatability markets.

It is one of the world’s oldest privately owned companies and this is its first acquisition since 2018.

Commenting on the acquisition, EBI president and CEO, Tom Perlitz, said:

Cawood has more than just exceptional growth potential, it comes to us as a thriving business with a solid market position and great talent – built on a set of strong principles that very closely mirror the core values of EBI.

"This partnership will support both goals to expand our diagnostic offerings and extend our reach in global markets, and we could not be more pleased to welcome Cawood into the EBI family.”

History of Cawood

Cawood was founded in 2006 and now operates nine divisions serving the agriculture, food, environmental and infrastructure sectors.

This year it has tripled its research business unit through the acquisition of i2L Research and IES Ltd, as well as consolidating its position in environmental analysis with the acquisition of Elab.

It will now become a member of EBI’s Agriculture and Environmental Diagnostics Group.

“Over the last 18 months, Cawood has doubled in size, following significant investment in acquisitions, equipment, people and technology,” said Cawood CEO Simon Parrington.

Our ambitious growth strategy is fully supported by EBI. We are looking forward to continuing to develop services that support our customers with data and insight to improve decision making, enhance performance and establish compliance.

"EBI’s global interests in science and technology and their existing business portfolio make this change of ownership a very positive move for us.”

Cawood will operate as a subsidiary of EBI, with the existing management team led by
Simon Parrington, who concluded:

“Our business is a good fit with EBI, with similar culture and values, and a shared desire to provide added value services that make a difference to the world.”