Smithers Group Acquire RAPRA Technology

The Smithers Group, an independent testing, consulting and contract research organization based in the US, announced today that it had closed a deal to purchase UK company Rapra Technology. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation of the fate of Rapra Technology, which was forced into Administration on 8 March.

Rapra becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of The Smithers Group, which comprises Smithers Scientific Services, Smithers Quality Assessments, Springborn Smithers Laboratories and Synomics Pharma Services. Established in 1925, Smithers is a privately owned company, which specialises in providing technology and research-based services to a global client base.

Rapra’s 118 members of staff, employed at its head office in Shawbury, Shropshire and its Billingham site, transfer to the Smithers Group which already employs 500 people in the US and Europe.

Commenting on the company’s recent acquisition, CEO and President, Michael Hochschwender said, “We are delighted that Rapra Technology has joined our portfolio of companies. We were particularly attracted to Rapra because of the synergy between its activities and our own. Like Rapra, we are also long established and independent. Its diverse range of analytical, testing, research and information services to the rubber and plastics industry complements our activities in the US. Rapra will provide a critical link to the UK and European markets, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.”

Rapra Chief Executive Andrew Ward, who has led the company through an MBO to its most impressive trading year in 2005, said: “I am pleased that this period of uncertainty is now over for both our customers and staff. Whilst the past few weeks have been extremely challenging for Rapra, we now put the past behind us and look to the future with renewed certainty.”

“Last year, we embarked on a strategic growth plan. The past couple of weeks have caused a slight hiatus in that plan, but we are now set to continue with the full support of The Smithers Group and look forward to bringing additional and enhanced services to benefit our existing and new customers.”

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