UK

Capita sells £60m stake in Government joint venture

Capita has sold its 75% stake in its Fera Science joint venture with Defra (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Capita has sold its 75% stake in its Fera Science joint venture with Defra (Andrew Matthews/PA) Capita has sold its 75% stake in its Fera Science joint venture with Defra (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Capita has agreed to sell its controlling stake in environmental research business Fera Science to UK private equity firm Bridgepoint.

The outsourcing giant said it has sold its 75% stake in Fera for an enterprise value of £60 million, valuing the business at £80 million.

Fera was set up in 2015 as a joint venture between Capita and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which holds the remaining 25% share.

The business specialises in environmental testing, research, and advisory and assurance services for both the public and private sectors.

Fera reported £45 million in revenues and a pre-tax profit of £3 million in 2022.

The sale comes amid a cost-cutting drive at Capita as it continues efforts to bolster its finances.

Last month, the firm, which also manages the licence fee for the BBC and runs recruitment for the Army, said it could cut up to 900 jobs in a bid to save £60 million.

The company has also sold a number of other “non-core” parts of its business to help secure cash, with separate deals to sell resourcing, software and travel businesses all announced earlier this year.

Capita bosses said on Monday that they have now completed the programme of disposals.

Chief executive Jon Lewis said: “We are very pleased to have agreed the sale of our stake in Fera after a competitive auction process.

“Capita and Defra have partnered together to grow and professionalise Fera over the past eight years, creating significant value for us and the taxpayer.

“Fera is now a vibrant and profitable commercial business, successfully serving private sector and government customers in both the UK and overseas.”

Matt Legg, partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: “Fera is recognised as the UK’s authority and a leading global expert in these areas, thanks to its differentiated scientific capabilities, well-invested facilities and deep expertise.

“We look forward to working with the management team to scale the business both domestically and internationally, including by investing in the business to maintain its cutting-edge scientific leadership and via M&A (mergers and acquisitions).”