SOCOTEC Accelerates U.S. Growth With Acquisition of Dispute Resolution and Project Risk Management Services Platform, As Well As CD&R Investment

SOCOTEC to acquire DPA, expanding U.S. presence established through recent acquisition of Vidaris.

CD&R investment to support future growth initiatives.

Monday, December 16, 2019
London, New York, and Paris

The SOCOTEC group, one of Europe’s largest providers of testing, inspection and certification services for construction and infrastructure sites, today announced the acquisition of DPA (“David Pattillo & Associates”), a highly respected provider of dispute resolution and project risk management services to the US construction market.

SOCOTEC, with €900M of revenue, works with more than 200,000 customers worldwide, including major private construction companies and local government authorities, to tackle infrastructure planned obsolescence, highly complex buildings construction, and environment and safety issues.

Setting up a strong foothold in the US is a central part of SOCOTEC’s new 5-year strategic plan. The acquisition of DPA is an important milestone and builds on the momentum of the September 2019 acquisition of Vidaris, a New York-based USD 100M company. DPA, based in Atlanta, GA, represents the 19th acquisition in 3 years for SOCOTEC.

DPA, “David Pattillo & Associates” is a company of 30 people working in construction and infrastructure services in a variety of sectors ranging from residential, commercial, industrial, hospitality, healthcare, governmental, energy. DPA is a trusted authority in Dispute Resolution and Project Risk Management with recent credentials such as the financial impact analysis of West Deptford Energy Station in New Jersey, the extension of the Fort Bragg’s ammunition storage capacity in North Carolina with environmental issues to manage, and the Iron Ore Concentrate Facility project in Labrador (Canada) on dispute resolution.

Separately, SOCOTEC announced an agreement with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), a US-based investment firm, in which a CD&R-managed fund will invest in SOCOTEC. The CD&R investment is expected to close prior to year-end. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Cobepa will remain the majority owner of the company.

These strategic announcements set the stage for continued organic and acquisition-driven expansion in the US and reflect a commitment to building a strong US platform within the group, providing a range of services, including ATIC (“Architecture Testing Inspection and Certification”), ETIC (“Engineering Testing Inspection Certification”), risk management and broad consultancy services in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

Hervé Montjotin, CEO of the SOCOTEC Group said: “We are proud to announce the continued expansion of our US business through the strategic acquisition of DPA. DPA, along with Vidaris, has a best-in-class team and shares our collective vision for the business. These investments pave the way for a strong SOCOTEC USA with more rewarding opportunities to come.”

Hervé Montjotin continued: “As we enter SOCOTEC’s next stage of growth we have strong validation of our momentum, reflected by our partnership with supportive shareholders in Cobepa and now CD&R, which shares our strong ambitions for the US. We look forward to CD&R helping us to develop our international foothold. With the support of our shareholders, we aim to establish the SOCOTEC group as the global TIC* leader in the asset integrity segment.”

Jean-Marie Laurent Josi, CEO of Cobepa, adds “We have supported the SOCOTEC group’s expansion from a mid-sized French company with € 500M revenues in 2013 to a € 900M business with 45% of its revenues outside France. We strongly believe in the group’s strategy and significant ambitions to further enhance its leadership position in its key market segments and become even more international by 2024.”

Christian Rochat, Partner of Clayton Dubilier & Rice, said: “SOCOTEC is an extremely well-positioned, testing, inspection and certification services business in a highly attractive industry benefitting from strong, structural growth drivers and with the potential to become the clear global leader. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Cobepa and the outstanding SOCOTEC management team with whom we share a common vision for the company’s long-term growth, notably in the US.”

Marc Weissbach, CEO of Vidaris, said: “Vidaris has grown significantly, both organically and through highly strategic acquisitions, which meaningfully diversified our service lines, end markets, client base and geographic footprint.  These investments allowed us to more than double the business in just over four years, and this is the beginning of our ambitions that will help create a reputed leader in the US.  Our teams are extremely excited to be supported by SOCOTEC to scale-up on the strong Vidaris foundations.”

About the SOCOTEC Group

The SOCOTEC Group, headed by Hervé Montjotin, has built its reputation over more than 60 years as a trusted partner assisting companies in the areas of quality, health and safety, and the environment. 
SOCOTEC’s mission is to ensure the integrity and performance of assets and people’s safety. Through its inspection and measurement, assistance and consultancy, and training and certification services, SOCOTEC helps to optimize the performance of companies in every sector by managing the risks inherent in their activities. Drawing on its expertise and positioning itself as a long-term partner, SOCOTEC supports its clients throughout their project’s lifecycle. 

As a leader in construction inspection and a major player in TIC for the construction and infrastructure sectors, the SOCOTEC Group has 200,000 clients with operations in 25 countries, 8,700 employees and over 250 forms of external recognition. 

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