Summit Alpha sells PAI to KIWA International

Summit Alpha, which is advised by The Summit Group Ltd, has sold its interest in portfolio company, Product Authentication International (“PAI”), to KIWA International BV.

PAI is a leading UK inspection, certification and training organisation specialising in the food, feed and agricultural sectors.
Kiwa is an independent quality organisation with high level certification as its core business. This is supported by inspection, testing, technology, training, and data services. Kiwa is active in almost all market segments, ranging from water supply, energy, construction, environment, healthcare, agriculture, food production through to corporate social responsibility. Kiwa has more than 1,400 highly qualified employees in over 30 offices in nine European countries, Turkey, China, Taiwan, South Korea, India and Peru.

The cooperation will lead to an extensive quality scheme portfolio that covers the international food chain. In the near future PAI will be able to service the market from the existing Kiwa office network in 12 EU and 6 more manufacturing and exporting countries servicing clients in more than 50 territories around the world.

Mr Paul Wright, Managing Director of PAI says “As the Food, Feed and Agricultural market is a very international market it is important to have an international presence and be able to cover the complete chain of custody. This will apply equally to organic, conventional or typical origin products from primary production, manufacturing and processing, retail, storage and transportation. PAI will access both the international office network of Kiwa and its complementary portfolio, which should be of great interest to both our existing and future client base. In short: Kiwa and PAI are a perfect match.”

Paul Hesselink, CEO of Kiwa is delighted about the new cooperation: “The complexity of the food, feed and agricultural market demands transparency and quality control throughout the whole chain. Kiwa is already very active in this field. Dedicated offices in The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Turkey and Spain will be strengthened by PAI’s excellent reputation in the UK to service specific food, feed and Agricultural clients throughout the world. Our merging with PAI opens a one stop shop for the sector and brings the total food chain control a little bit closer.”

About PAI
Formed in 1996 and backed by venture capital investor, Summit Alpha, PAI grew into a worldwide, highly reputable certification and audit company for the Food, Feed and Agricultural markets. PAI services UK and international clients from offices in Worthing and Harrogate. PAI holds many UKAS accreditations in the agri-food sector.

Immediately prior to the sale PAI demerged its Information Services Division, now rebranded Authenticate Information Services, to its shareholders. Authenticate provides a comprehensive data and software service which allows all businesses in the food industry to track, analyse and understand their food supply network from end to end.

Summit Alpha first invested in PAI in 2001 and the combined transaction was valued in excess of 8 times the pre money valuation of Summit Alpha’s original investment and overall generated a return in excess of 350% for Summit Alpha.

Kit Hunter Gordon, Managing Director of The Summit Group said “We have been delighted to support PAI and its CEO, Paul Wright, for over a decade, during which time the business has grown to become one of the major UK certification businesses. Now as part of the KIWA group PAI will be able to continue to expand these activities on an International stage. We are also delighted to be able to continue to support Authenticate Information Services which is focused on a critical area of the market in providing reliable information on the food chain to all parties involved at each stage. The recent horsemeat scandal has only underlined how critical it is to be able to quickly and reliably source this information.”

By UKBAA 17 Oct 2013