Exova deal ‘exciting opportunity’, says Eurofins UK MD

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Eurofins bought part of Exova earlier this year
Eurofins bought part of Exova earlier this year
The new Eurofins UK MD has targeted growth in a ‘very competitive’ food and water testing market.

Phil Coles, former director of Exova Health Sciences, has been appointed as managing director of Eurofins Food and Water Testing business in the UK and Ireland.

He said Wolverhampton (Eurofins) and Birmingham (Exova) have well established contaminant and pesticide testing businesses.

“Combining the skills and capabilities of these two businesses can already leverage much greater capability. Similarly both businesses have microbiological experts who complement each other’s skills.

“Combined with the global centres of excellence for these capabilities that exist in Nantes for micro, Hamburg for pesticides and in Vejen, Denmark for vitamins, these provide us with strong capability.”

Coles takes over from Graeme Risdon who will lead Eurofins Food Testing activities in Australia.

Integration after acquisition

The appointment comes after the acquisition of Exova's food, water and pharmaceutical testing businesses by Eurofins for £18m (€23m) in May this year.

Phil Coles MD Eurofins Food Testing UK
Phil Coles

Ten laboratories and more than 300 staff have joined the 11 Eurofins sites in the UK, and its global network of 225 laboratories across 39 countries.

The combined business has eight sites focused on food and water testing.

Coles said it is perfectly positioned to continue to grow in the UK.

“The testing market has always and will continue to be very competitive and so it is critical that we continue to challenge all of our conversion costs,” ​he said.

“In a similar manner to many of our customers, it is also critical that we have a robust pipeline of new capabilities that will ensure we remain at the forefront of the testing market for many years to come.

“We have seen how critical this can be with food scares over recent years and with the intellectual capacity and global centres of analytical excellence that exists with Eurofins we should be well placed to respond to most issues.”

A senior executive with 20 years’ experience across a range of businesses, Coles started his career as a technical manager in RHM before moving into executive management roles running food businesses across different disciplines and sectors.

During his time in the food industry Coles led multi-million pound capital investment projects and has experience of working in private equity and PLC environments.

He said the immediate focus is on integrating the two businesses onto one common system.

“There are many benefits of joining the Eurofins network, in particular the access to IT capabilities. Commissioning these across the previous Exova business will deliver real benefits to both Eurofins and its clients.

“The other priority as we bring two teams together is to ensure that everyone is clear in their responsibilities and roles. Defining the structure of the management team is therefore also an important priority.”

EML appointment

Meanwhile, Kally Probasco has been appointed president of Eurofins Microbiology Laboratory (EML).

Probasco had overseen US operational functions involving installations of technical methodologies, strategic account negotiations, new lab constructions, and other initiatives.

David Bryant, SVP of Eurofins North America, food and environment testing said: “In light of the demands that are being placed on food producers, processors, and importers for food safety compliance, we understand how important it is to be a stakeholder in the success of our customers and provide them with cutting edge analytical technologies and unparalleled service to help them meet their challenges with ease and personalized support."

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