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Testing for horse meat in burgers and using forensics to help convict Stephen Lawrence’s murderers feature among this science testing business’s high-profile assignments. Though it was bought by private equity house Bridgepoint for £257m in 2010, it retains its role as the Government Chemist, providing expert opinion on disputes on food and agriculture. The firm, founded in 1842, is run by chief executive Tim Robinson, 51.

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Company details
ActivityAnalytical services laboratory
LocationSouthwest London
Sales £m*207.3
Operating profit £m*7.9
Main shareholdersBridgepoint (>50%), management (<50%)

If applicable:

* supplied by company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda