James H. Heal & Co. Ltd. Acquired By Battery Ventures

HALIFAX — September 24, 2014 — James Heal, a 142-year old company that designs and manufactures test instrumentation and test materials for the global textile and garment industry, has been acquired by Battery Ventures. Boston-based Battery Ventures is an investment firm focused on technology and innovation worldwide with $4.7 billion in assets under management. In partnership with Battery, James Heal will continue its long-standing tradition of pursuing growth. Battery’s additional resources will support increased investment in technology and complementary acquisitions. 

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

“We are very proud to be associated with the James Heal brand and the team; they are universally recognized as the technology, quality and thought leaders in the textile testing market.  Together, I believe we will achieve a new level of international success,” said Battery Ventures General Partner Jesse Feldman.

James Heal offers a comprehensive product line of test instruments, test materials, services and calibration to the textile market. The company tests a wide range of textile properties including strength, abrasion, colour-fastness, flammability, pilling, snagging and shrinking. The company will be continuing its proud tradition of high-quality manufacturing in the north of England that began in 1872. 

“Battery is an experienced and knowledgeable investor in the test and measurement market,” said David Repper, who has been James Heal’s Managing Director since 1982. “We look forward to working together to continue the James Heal methodology of unparalleled textile-technology expertise, design and innovation.” The company has won two Queen’s Awards, in 2012 and 1995, the highest and most prestigious corporate business award in the United Kingdom.

Following the acquisition, Amanda McLaren, the company’s current Manufacturing Director, will take over the responsibilities of Managing Director from David Repper. The rest of the board of directors, including Elliot Rich, Sales Director; Neil Pryke, Innovation Director; and Michael Minich, Financial Director; will continue to lead the company under the new ownership.

David Repper will continue to be involved as a consultant to James Heal on a part-time basis to assist with product development, customer relations and operations, and also to help to ensure a smooth transition period.

As part of the deal, Battery executive-in-residence Don Templeman will join James Heal as Chairman and Director. Templeman has over 20 years of global, general-management experience and was previously the president and CEO of Princeton Instruments Inc., a division of industrial-technology company Roper Industries Inc.

“The opportunity to put my industrial-technology background to work with such an established, yet cutting-edge company is tremendously appealing, and I look forward to working with existing management to take James Heal’s business to the next level,” Templeman said.

Don Templeman will work closely with Amanda McLaren, Elliot Rich, Michael Minich, Neil Pryke and the rest of the team to further develop James Heal’s current product portfolio of leading testing instruments and test materials and continue to expand the company’s market share.

Battery is continuing to expand its investment activity in the industrial-technology markets and has completed more than 25 industrial-related transactions across the U.S. and Europe since 2003.

Posted September 26, 2014

Source: James H. Heal