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CSA acquires Sira Certification

07 July 2009

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has acquired British conformity assessment company, Sira Test & Certification, which specialises in the testing of safety equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres. The acquisition, which is valued initially at £8 million also covers three affiliated companies: Sira Certification Service; Sira Environmental (SEL); and Sira Consulting (SCL).

CSA International specialises in hazardous locations
CSA International specialises in hazardous locations

The companies were formally owned by London based Volvere plc and the acquisition was enabled through the strategic M and A advisory firm of WAIN Management, Paris, France.

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. The agreement provides for a deferred cash consideration of a further £600 000, which is dependent on the achievement of certain financial targets for 2009 and 2010.

Commenting on the acquisition, Robert M. Griffin, president and CEO of the CSA Group said: “The decision to acquire four Sira companies is in alignment with [our] strategic objective to be among the world’s largest safety certifiers and is a component of a business strategy to focus on hazardous locations testing.

“Adding Sira will serve as an important building block in the global expansion of CSA International’s hazardous locations testing business and service offerings,” Griffin suggested. “The decision to acquire four Sira companies is in alignment with CSA Group's strategic objective to be among the world's largest safety certifiers.”

During its 25 year history in the hazardous locations business, Sira has issued more than 3,000 product certificates – including more than 1,800 for ATEX conformance – and is among the top certification bodies issuing IECEx certificates of conformity.

Sira's managing director, Mike Shearman is delighted with the deal: “CSA International is the best fit for overall growth in terms of company culture, shared business vision and Sira's positioning as a part of a leading global certification and testing organisation,” he said. “It is a perfect strategic business fit that will benefit our clients not only in the certification service of products used within explosive atmospheres, but also in certification solutions in the areas of water and air emissions and specialised training.”

Headquartered in Chester, and with laboratories and offices in Bakewell and Crayford in the UK, Sira companies employ 55 people in engineering and management. The CSA Group has taken measures to ensure that the transfer in ownership will result in a seamless transition of services and employment for both Sira employees and clients.

Sira examines and tests equipment against both European standards (EN) for ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and International (IEC) standards for an IECEx Certificate of Conformity. It also issues UKAS accredited product certification against a range of other British, European and International standards, as well as issues reports against other approval body standards. As a division of the CSA Group, Sira will continue to offer all its existing services under the same respected brand.

All certificates and reports issued by Sira will be maintained and their current status will be unchanged by the acquisition, as are any contracts and quotations. MCERTS services, UKAS accreditation, IECEx appointment and ATEX Notified Body status will continue as normal.

Volvere acquired Sira Test & Certification and Sira Certification Service in September 2005. Sira Environmental followed in March 2006. The total consideration for three companies was £1.4 million.

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association consisting of three divisions: CSA Standards, specialising in standards development, application products, training and advisory services; CSA International, which provides testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers.

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