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UK's Intertek to buy Australia's SAI Global Assurance for $660 million

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By Yadarisa Shabong and Kane Wu

(Reuters) -British inspection and product testing company Intertek Group agreed on Thursday to buy SAI Global Assurance for A$855 million ($660 million), as it builds market share in Australia, North America, the UK and China.

SAI Global Assurance, which is indirectly owned by private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), provides second-party audits to clients across 130 countries, and has a strong position in food and agriculture and also carries out environmental and sustainability audits.

The Australia-based company’s environmental management systems helps its customers reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and energy costs at a time when investors and corporations worldwide have become more sensitive to climate goals.

Intertek, which provides testing, inspecting and certification to industries, said it would finance the deal using debt.

The deal, on a cash-free and debt-free basis, is expected to add to Intertek earnings from the first year post acquisition.

SAI Global Assurance is expected to achieve revenues of A$240m and an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin of 23% in the financial year ending 30 June 2021, Intertek said in its announcement.

Jefferies advised BPEA and SAI Global on the sale while Deutsche Bank advised Intertek, according to people with knowledge of the transaction. The banks did not immediately comment.

The sale marks a partial exit for Hong Kong-based BPEA, which bought SAI Global out in 2016 for A$1 billion (https://www.reuters.com/article/sai-global-ma-baring-idUSL3N1C10LG), the people said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Baring still owns SAI Global’s risks business and other smaller units and may kick off a separate sale process for the risks unit, said one of the sources.

The private equity firm declined to comment.

($1 = 1.2955 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Elaine Hardcastle)

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