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NEW YORK, NY – Warburg Pincus, a global growth investor, this week announced an investment in Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), a provider of laboratory tests for customers in the food and beverage end markets. The company serves a wide range of product categories within the broader food and beverage sector (e.g. meat, dairy, products, dietary supplements, pet foods, nutraceuticals, restaurants, ready meals).
As part of the investment, FSNS will merge with the Certified Group, a North American platform provider of testing and regulatory advisory services. The Certified Group provides mission-critical and time-sensitive testing and regulatory advisory services for food and beverages, nutritional supplements and botanicals, cosmetics and personal care, nicotine and cannabis, and other regulated end markets. Warburg Pincus and Tilia Holdings, a Chicago-based private investment company that focuses exclusively on the food and nutrition supply chain, first invested in the Certified Group in 2018.
The merger will increase the Certified Group’s workforce to approximately 1,580 employees in 20 states and provinces in more than 30 laboratories in North America. Upon completion of the transaction, John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS, will assume the role of CEO for all respective companies. Steven Mitchell, CEO of the Certified Group, will become vice chairman of the combined company and board member.
“The investment by Warburg Pincus reflects the current success of our company and underscores our leading position as the leading North American platform provider for test and regulatory advisory services. The combined businesses position our company with the broadest presence and the most diverse range of services in the industry, ”said John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS. “We look forward to working with Warburg Pincus, Tilia and the Certified team to further expand the merged companies.”
Warburg Pincus is a food safety and food supply chain services investor with current and historical investments in Certified Laboratories, Hygiena, GA Foods, SPINs, Aramark, Grubhub / Seamless, Duravant and Trimark.
“I am excited about the opportunities the combined companies will achieve as our platform strengthens and grows,” said Steven Mitchell, CEO of the Certified Laboratories Group. “I look forward to working with John and the team as we continue to meet the demanding needs of our customers.”
“Investing in FSNS reflects our ongoing mission to invest in companies that will help make the food supply chain safer for customers and capitalize on growing market opportunities. The strength of FSNS in microbiological testing, coupled with the strong position of the Certified Group in chemical testing, complement each other perfectly and offer customers significant cross-selling potential, ”said Stephanie Geveda, Managing Director, Head of Business Services, Warburg Pincus .
“Warburg Pincus shares our vision to improve the global food and nutrition supply chain through innovative companies and strong management teams. The combination of FSNS and Certified Group will strengthen and expand their respective service offerings, capabilities and presence so that the combined company can reach a wider range of customers, ”said Johannes Burlin, Co-CEO of Tilia.