Cozart exit boosts YFM-managed VCTs

YFM Private Equity says that the sale of its stake in medical diagnostics company Cozart returned four times its investment for two of its VCTs.

The AIM-listed business was sold for £64.4 million to fellow AIM company Concateno, which was formed to acquire and consolidate businesses in the drug and alcohol testing sector.

Cozart received its initial investment from YFM in 2001, when the private equity house invested £1 million, split equally between the British Smaller Companies VCT and the British Smaller Technology Companies VCT. The company floated on AIM in July 2004, at which time YFM invested a further £1.5 million, again split between the two funds.

Concateno acquired Cozart for 57.5p per share, almost double the original placing price of 30p a share. In the year to May 2006, Cozart reported turnover of £11.1 million and pre-tax profits of £300,000.

Established in 1993 by biochemist Chris Hand and his IT executive brother Philip, Cozart produces kits that can rapidly identify drug abuse via saliva, urine or other samples. The company is the sole supplier for the UK Home Office’s drug intervention programme and has established operations in Spain, Sweden and Italy. A recent partnership with electronics specialist Philips has led to the development of a hand-held testing device for use at the roadside.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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