Set up in Liverpool in 2014, lab firm BioGrad has seen significant growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and founder Dr Natalie Kenny is considering a sale of the business. Tony McDonough reports
A fast-growing Liverpool laboratory company is lining up a possible multi-million pound sale of the business.
BioGrad Diagnostics was set up by owner and chief executive Dr Natalie Kenny in 2014. Based at Liverpool Science Park, the firm was set up to offer laboratory and clinical training to science students, graduate researchers and teachers from across the globe.
In 2019 it attracted elite scientists from 526 institutes in 21 countries. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, BioGrad pivoted towards COVID testing and has since seen significant growth with EBITDA (a measure of profitability) expected to exceed £10m this year.
From its head office in Liverpool, BioGrad operates sites in Bootle, Warrington and Manchester, employing more than 280 people. It is accredited by UKAS, the independent UK Accreditation Service responsible for determining the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering testing, calibration and certification services.
It invested £2m setting up the 7,500 sq ft Bootle operation, which opened in June this year at St Hugh’s House in Stanley Road. In August it was revealed Dr Kenny was one of 22 Liverpool city region entrepreneurs on the shortlist for the 10th Enterprise Vision Awards which celebrate female entrepreneurship across the North West.
Now. Following 18 months of rapid growth at BioGrad, Dr Kenny has called in Harrogate International Advisory, which specialises in advising on mergers and acquisitions, buyouts and capital restructuring. LBN understands a possible sale of all or part of the business is being considered.
Harrogate is a recently-launched venture run by Liverpool barrister and entrepreneur Sue Wright and Faisal Arif, an experienced corporate finance professional. Ms Wright is well known in Liverpool professional circles and has been involved in several businesses as well as forging a formidable reputation in family law.
Dr Kenny said: “The company is on a huge growth trajectory and has performed exceptionally well – we are considering options for the future direction of the business. We look forward to working with Harrogate International Advisors to help strategically develop the business as we enter into the next stage of our growth.”
Profits from BioGrad’s diagnostics arm are being reinvested back into the business to fund further development and growth, including its bursary scheme, which supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds with their course fees.