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CSA’s acquisition of UK-based SIRA

On 3 July 2009, CSA Group acquired SIRA Test and Certification Limited and three affiliated companies: SIRA Test and Certification Limited (STC), SIRA Certification Service (SCS), SIRA Environmental (SEL) and SIRA Consulting Limited (SCL).  SIRA was formally owned by Volvere plc, a United Kingdom-based holding company that identifies and invests in undervalued and distressed businesses and securities. 

Those familiar with SIRA know that it specializes in hazardous location testing, mostly ATEX certifications.  The acquisition is valued at approximately $12.7 million dollars with another $1 million in deferred cash depending on whether SIRA is able to hit financial targets in 2009 and 2010.  SIRA’s greatest assets are its people, all 55 of them.  As part of the agreement, SIRA will operate as a business division of CSA International and the SIRA brand will be retained and used in conjunction with the CSA International brand.  SIRA's managing director, Mike Shearman, has been promoted to Global Director for CSA.  This places Mr. Shearman in an awkward position of increasing SIRA’s business in the UK while at the same time fostering growth in CSA’s hazardous location business in North America.  His appointment has resulted in the exit of a key operational manager at CSA.

Acquisitions are never easy but a key element to their success is the retention of value personnel. That is because maintaining SIRA’s overall competency to conduct testing is necessary to operate and just as important is maintaining its relationships with the surveillance authorities throughout the EU.  On the downside, CSA’s affiliation with SIRA is limited to the ATEX Directive.  There are many other Directives which CSA will need to cover to remain competitive in the EU arena.  In addition, it will need to prevent any deterioration of its North American operations by stemming any further losses of key personal in its North American operation. 

Posted 08-23-2010 4:08 PM by Solis, Joel

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