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Anthesis acquires German sustainability specialist

PRESS RELEASE – For issue on 31 January 2014

Leading international advisor, Anthesis, acquires European firm UMR GmbH to extend service and territorial reach.

The new name in sustainability consultancy, Anthesis Group, has acquired a 15-strong German specialist firm UMR GmbH, for an undisclosed sum. The deal marks the second major buy for Anthesis since it acquired the UK sustainability and carbon footprint consultancy, Best Foot Forward, during its launch period in October last year (Environment Analyst 08-Oct-13).

Based in Nuremberg and Frankfurt, but with experience across continental Europe, UMR advises businesses on how to understand and manage their environmental risks and liabilities. In addition, the consultancy provides satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), which are used extensively in arid and semi-arid environments for infrastructure planning as well as locating water and mineral resources.

Anthesis CEO Stuart McLachlan said: “UMR represents a complementary addition to the Anthesis Group and will help us penetrate the German market as well as being of considerable support to our global clients. With comprehensive environmental, health and safety management, due diligence services and advice on renewable energy and contamination remediation strategies, UMR adds depth and breadth to the Anthesis mix.”

McLachlan told Environment Analyst that Anthesis had previous experience of working with the UMR management team. Establishing a presence in Germany was considered particularly important as “it has good regulatory drivers and strong commitment to sustainability,” while UMR also provides access to the wider continental European market as “we’re getting increasing demand from multinational clients to work across Europe”.

“Many of our US clients in particular have a presence in Germany,” he explained. “The German environmental/sustainability consultancy market is currently dominated mainly by smaller local players.” McLachlan said that UMR’s expertise in the renewables sector – “which although quite volatile there are still plenty of opportunity to capture market share” – and also its technology capabilities in real-time digital mapping were highly prized by Anthesis.

Joerg Bentlage, managing director of UMR, commented: “The integration of UMR into Anthesis represents a great step forward for the company and provides us with the opportunity to service our international clients such as Volkswagen, Holcim and Cat on a worldwide basis as well as extending our services portfolio to them via Anthesis’s global network of expertise.”

The addition of UMR – whose annual revenue is expected to be close to the €1 million (£800k) mark – brings the total number of Anthesis staff to around 70. The firm has offices in the UK, US and the Philippines, and now Germany. However, McLachlan is aiming to grow the business to around 100 staff by the end of Q1 2014, and expects to complete at least one further acquisition by then before entering a phase of consolidation.

He says that in terms of annualized turnover, Anthesis is currently running at approximately £5 million – which all seems pretty impressive for a start-up firm which has big ambitions in the global sustainability consulting sector.

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