Warburg Pincus has 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. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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 market 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 is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

The merger will create a leading, national testing platform. Together, Certified Group and FSNS represent a highly differentiated testing services provider in North America. The merger will bring Certified Group's employee base to approximately 1,580 total employees across 20 states and provinces in over 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.

This merger will enable FSNS to: 

  • Accelerate the expansion of its geographic footprint bringing its services closer to customers 
  • Widen its service offerings, while continuing to deliver high-quality, best-in-class client experiences
  • Enhance access to technical expertise by additional industry-leading scientists across segment categories 

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.