Warburg Pincus and Tilia Holdings Announce Investment in Food Safety Net Services

Warburg Pincus, a global growth investor, this week announced an investment in Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), a provider of laboratory testing services for customers in the food and beverage end-markets. The company serves a broad range of product categories within the broader food and beverage sector (e.g., meat, dairy, produce, dietary supplements, pet food, nutraceuticals, restaurant, ready-to-eat). As part of the investment, FSNS will merge with Certified Group, a North American platform provider of testing and regulatory consulting services. Certified Group provides mission critical and time sensitive testing and regulatory consulting services to the food and beverage, 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 firm focused exclusively on the food and nutrition supply chain, first invested in Certified Group in 2018. The merger will bring Certified Group’s employee base to  about 1,580 total employees across 20 states and provinces in more than 30 laboratories in North America. At the close of the transaction, John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS, will assume the role of CEO across all respective companies. Steven Mitchell, CEO of Certified Group, will become vice chairman of the combined company and board member.  “The investment from Warburg Pincus reflects the current success of our company and underscores our top-tier position as a leading North American platform provider of testing and regulatory consulting services. The combined businesses position our company with the broadest footprint and most diversified service offering in the industry,” said John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS. “We are excited to work with Warburg Pincus, Tilia and the Certified team to grow the combined companies further.” Warburg Pincus is an investor in food safety and food supply chain services, with current and historical investments in Certified Laboratories, Hygiena, GA Foods, SPINs, Aramark, Grubhub/Seamless, Duravant and Trimark.  “I am excited by the opportunities the combined companies will achieve as our platform strengthens and grows," said Steven Mitchell, CEO, Certified Laboratories Group. “I look forward to working with John and the team as we continue to deliver on the sophisticated needs of our clients.” “The investment in FSNS reflects our ongoing mission to invest in companies that help make the food supply chain safer for customers and address the growing market opportunity. FSNS’ strength in microbiology testing paired with Certified Group’s strong position in chemistry testing are highly complementary, providing meaningful cross-sell potential to clients,” said Stephanie Geveda, managing director, head of business services, Warburg Pincus.  “Warburg Pincus shares our vision of improving the global food and nutrition supply chain through innovative companies, backed by strong management teams. The merger of FSNS and Certified Group will strengthen and grow their respective service offerings, capabilities and footprint, enabling the combined company to reach a wider range of customers,” said Johannes Burlin, Co-CEO, Tilia.

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