Test & Measurement Newsletter – Q2 2019

KPMG Corporate Finance LLC’s Q2 Test & Measurement M&A update

Chrisanne Corbett

Chrisanne Corbett

Managing Director, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC

+1 312-665-2779

Test & measurement market commentary

Trading multiples for the Test & Measurement (T&M) industry for Q2’19 recorded an overall mean EV/LTM EBITDA of 17.0x. The mean EV/LTM EBITDA for Life Science Instrument companies came in at a strong  20.1x; Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) at 13.6x; and Industrial Instruments at 17.1x.

Announced transaction volume declined by 27.1% in Q2’19 over Q2’18, while announced transaction value decreased 76.6% to $1.9 billion in Q2’19, primarily due to two large transactions announced in Q2’18, including Abaxis by Zoetis ($2 billion) and Analogic Corporation by Altaris Capital ($1.1 billion). Strategic buyers continued to dominate in Q2’19, participating in approximately 92% of announced deals, led by SGS SA and Eurofins Scientific with three and two transactions, respectively.

Food testing market spotlight

The food safety testing market, which includes the inspection of food products for disease-causing organisms, chemicals, and other hazardous materials, is projected to reach $24.6 billion by 2023P, representing a CAGR of 7.7% from 2018. The global food supply is under the constant threat of contamination creating a demand for testing to ensure food safety for consumers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has reported that each year, one out of 10 people fall sick due to foodborne illness, mostly children under the age of five. Demand for food safety testing globally is largely driven by: an increasing demand among consumers for fresh and safe food products; increasing food safety regulations; high competition among food producers increasing the importance of brand protection; and an increase in food debasement, including adulterations, pesticides, artificial taste enhancers, and certifications. The safety certifications and compliance undertaken by food processing companies and food service organizations are increasing the trust of the consumer.

Global food safety organizations are implementing strict regulations to prevent food fraud and illness from contaminated food as well as to motivate manufacturers to adopt technologies to provide testing accuracy and ensure that food products comply with the numerous regulations in various countries.  Besides consumer safety, food safety testing services are more pronounced in multiple regions due to the increasing number of international events, including sporting events, conducted every year. The safety certifications and compliance undertaken by food processing companies and food service organizations are helping to gain the trust of the consumer. 

North America is the leading market contributing more than 40% of the global food safety testing industry, followed by the LAMEA region, however, China and India, both hold large potential for the industry. The key factor driving the growth of the food safety testing market in North America is stringent regulations by the regulatory bodies as well as  increased production in North America. Food safety testing is made mandatory during every stage of production and processing, which ensures food safety and consumer loyalty. Microbial testing and GMO testing are the major types of testing done in North America. Food manufacturers are typically conducting testing around three primary food contaminants: pathogens, chemicals, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), of which pathogens testing dominates the food testing market. Pathogens, including Campylobacter, E. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, are contagious microorganisms that cause food contamination.  

There is currently an increased demand for microbiological testing of food products. The purpose of a microbiological testing is to identify and restrict growth of harmful microorganisms, which may lead to spoilage of foods, and thus, ensure safety from foodborne diseases. The global market by technology is segmented into agar culturing, PCR-based assay, immunoassay-based, and others. Agar culturing is one of the traditional processes to test pathogens. However, currently, PCR-based assay and immunoassay-based methods are more accepted than traditional methods, as ongoing developments have discovered that traditional methods are not suitable for all food products.



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