U.S – Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing, and Tilia Holdings, a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the food and nutrition supply chain, have announced an investment in Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), a provider of laboratory testing services for customers in the food and beverage end-markets.

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 and other regulated end markets.

Warburg Pincus and Tilia Holdings 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 as Steven Mitchell, CEO of Certified Group, takes up the vice chairmanship of the combined company and also joins the board.

 “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. We are excited to work with Warburg Pincus, Tilia and the Certified team to grow the combined companies further,” said John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS.

QA Mag highlights that Warburg Pincus has invested in several 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, I look forward to working with John and the team as we continue to deliver on the sophisticated needs of our clients,” said Steven Mitchell, CEO, Certified Laboratories Group.

 The managing director, head of business services, Warburg Pincus- Stephanie Geveda, outlined that investment in FSNS reflects the company’s ongoing mission to invest in companies that help make the food supply chain safer for customers and address the growing market opportunity.

 She noted that 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.

Johannes Burlin, Co-CEO, Tilia views the merger as an opportunity to strengthen and grow the combined company service offerings, capabilities and footprint, enabling it to reach a wider range of customers.

He pointed out the shared vision of Tilia and Warburg Pincus in improving the global food and nutrition supply chain through innovative companies, backed by strong management teams.