MATERIALS-testing business Exova has underlined its appetite for international expansion with the acquisition of an Indian company.

The Edinburgh firm, which listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in April, has snapped up Mumbai-based Metallurgical Services Private for an undisclosed sum.

While Exova has had sales people based in India for a number of years the deal means it will now have dedicated testing facilities in the country.

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Metallurgical Services, founded in 1964 and now with 130 staff, provides testing in areas including mechanical, corrosion and metallurgy across industries such as oil and gas and infrastructure. It has around 3,500 customers based mainly in the west of India.

Exova said it plans to support growth in the business across India and more widely into Asia. It currently operates in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Hicham Abdallah, managing director for Exova in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, said: "As an emerging market, the Indian subcontinent is forecasting significant industrial growth.

"Metallurgical Services has established an enviable market reputation which, combined with Exova's technical capabilities and operational infrastructure, means we are well placed to capitalise on this growth."

Ian El-Mokadem, chief executive of Exova, said: "This is our sixth acquisition within the past year and underlines our strategy of growing our global footprint and extending our service offering through strategic acquisitions in the customer sectors we serve from our facilities in 23 countries worldwide."

Exova employs around 150 people at its Edinburgh headquarters with a further 60 across sites in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Its global workforce is now more than 3,700.

The business raised £110 million from institutional investors as parts of the flotation that gave it a market capitalisation of £550 million. Shares closed up 1p, or 0.42 per cent, at 238.8p.