LONDON, U.K. — Intertek Group P.L.C., a total quality assurance provider to a range of industries, has entered into an agreement to acquire Alchemy Investment Holdings, Inc., provider of frontline workforce training and communications, from The Riverside Co. for $480 million in cash.

Based in Austin, Texas, Alchemy offers training software and resources that help food and retail companies engage with their workforces to drive productivity and safety. Since its founding in 2003, the company’s resources have been used by such companies as The Kellogg Co., Ocean Spray, JBS S.A., Pilgrim’s Pride, Shake Shack and Tillamook.

Alchemy’s cloud-based software services help clients drive safety, productivity, operational excellence and customer service by monitoring skills gaps within their frontline operations and offering targeted interactive learning solutions, Alchemy said. The company employs approximately 270 at four locations across the United States and Canada and has more than 1,100 clients in the food industry.

Alchemy listeria pamphlet“Intertek Total Quality Assurance (T.Q.A.) provides a superior service to our clients through our end-to-end systemic assurance, testing, inspection and certification solutions,” said André Lacroix, chief executive officer of Intertek. “With the acquisition of Alchemy, we are continuing to strengthen our T.Q.A. value proposition with the expansion of our assurance business into people assurance, helping to provide our clients with a higher level of quality assurance and with greater peace of mind.”

Intertek’s services enable clients to identify and mitigate the intrinsic risk in their operations, supply and distribution chains and quality management systems. Intertek’s acquisition of Alchemy and its people assurance solutions will further strengthen Intertek’s global assurance offering, Intertek said.

“Intertek’s growth in assurance services has predominantly been focused on assuring the quality of clients’ systems and operating procedures,” Mr. Lacroix said. “Alchemy provides us with the opportunity to expand and broaden our assurance offering toward the assurance of employee skills across our clients’ organizations.

“As corporations around the world increase their focus on quality, safety, productivity and compliance, closing skills-gaps to deliver only the highest customer service standards has become mission critical for clients. Alchemy’s unique tailored learning software helps to close the loop, identifying and plugging these gaps quickly and efficiently.”