ALTA Analytical Lab Acquired by Intertek Group plc

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – November 30, 2006 – Alta Analytical Laboratory, a leading provider of immunochemistry and LC-MS/MS bioanalytical services, was acquired by Intertek Group Plc (London Stock Exchange: ITRK), a leading international provider of quality, testing and safety services, for a total consideration of approximately $25.5 million in cash.

The transaction was originated, structured, negotiated and completed with the assistance of Fairmount Partners, the investment banking firm that represented Alta and the leading advisor in the pharmaceutical services sector.

Alta supports North American pharmaceutical and clinical research organizations by providing a variety of bioanalytical and immunochemistry services required in the development of new drugs. Alta has laboratories located in San Diego and near Sacramento, California with approximately 110 staff. Both laboratories are known for their technical expertise, rigorous compliance programs, and excellent customer service.

Robert Bethem and Jo Smolec, Ph.D., the Alta Analytical Laboratory business heads, commented; “Acquisition by Intertek allows Alta the ability to invest in the next phase of expansion to grow our services and offer extended expertise to our existing clients. Becoming part of Intertek’s global business and reach provides a powerful opportunity to expand our bio-analytical services to existing and new international customers and markets.”

The acquisition will advance Intertek’s strategic growth in supporting the global pharmaceutical and biotech industries through the provision of extensive method development capabilities and a comprehensive range of state of the art analytical testing services. Intertek’s Executive Vice President and CEO of the Caleb Brett Division, Mark Loughead comments; “Alta has earned an outstanding reputation for quality and service and its expertise will further expand our ability to respond to the needs of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry for outsourced R&D and testing support. It establishes a firm platform for further development for Intertek in the USA.” Intertek already provides testing services to pharmaceutical clients from its laboratories in the UK.

Neal McCarthy, Managing Director of Fairmount Partners, added “Alta is one of the finest pharmaceutical labs in North America, and we were pleased to introduce them to many fine potential buyers, and to assist them in selecting and closing a transaction with Intertek, one of the world’s leading testing companies. We are confident that these two talented groups of professionals will have great success together.”


Alta Analytical Laboratory provides liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and immunochemistry contract laboratory services to pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical clients. Since 1990, Alta has provided Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) services for early drug development, and pre-clinical and clinical studies out of its LC-MS/MS lab near Sacramento. The company added immunochemistry services in San Diego in 1999. Alta’s primary strength lies in its ability to rapidly develop robust and sensitive analytical methodologies and efficiently utilize these novel methods in a high throughput setting.


Intertek Group Plc (FTSE: ITRK) is a leading international provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of global and local industries. Intertek has the experience, expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through their network of 910 laboratories and offices, 17,400 people in 110 countries around the world.


Intertek’s Oil, Chemical & Agri division, Intertek Caleb Brett, provides testing and inspection services to the global chemical, petroleum and refining industries and provides a wide range of routine and non-routine laboratory testing services to support pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology clients. A growing international network of Intertek laboratories serves clients on a global basis with services including laboratory testing, outsourcing, inspection, R&D and process services.

Principals of Fairmount Partners acted as advisors to Alta Analytical Laboratory in this transaction.

Neal McCarthy