By Aaran Fronda in London, 21 August 2017 – this article was written by Mergermarket, the leading provider of forward-looking M&A intelligence and data to M&A professionals and corporates around the world.
UK-based Anthesis Consulting Group, a specialist global consultant that offers sustainability strategy solutions to corporates, wishes to strengthen its position in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and environmental due diligence (EDD) via a combination of inorganic and organic growth, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Stuart McLachlan said.
The company is on the lookout for targets that provide sustainability expertise, as well as offer a route into new markets, such as mainland Africa, where it does not have a presence, McLachlan said. Anthesis is also eager to strengthen its position in existing markets, he added.
The consultancy has offices in the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the Middle East, China and the Philippines.
Energy sustainability continues to be a key area of acquisitive interest for Anthesis, with it acquiring UK-based Sustain, an energy and carbon management company, in November 2016 for an undisclosed sum. In the same year, it bought Sweden-based Enveco, an environmental economics and sustainability consultancy firm, as well as Boulder, Colorado-based Mosaic Sustainability.
London-based law firm Fox Williams offered advice on the acquisition, McLachlan said.
In total, the company has made ten acquisitions since its inception in 2013.
The company is targeting GBP 20m – 25m in revenue this year, McLachlan said. The company declined to disclose revenues for last year. However, according to a recent report by London Stock Exchange [LON:LSE], it generated revenues of GBP 6m – 10m.
The company’s employees, including management, own 72% of the business, with the remaining 28% split between Capital for Colleagues [CFCP:NEX], an investment fund focused on Employee Owned Business’ (EOB), and other high-net worth individuals, McLachlan said. All external investors have been with the company since its inception and have reinvested or increased their shareholding during each fundraise, he added.
To date, Anthesis has not felt the need to extend its fundraising activities to private equity or family offices, he said. However, if the company embarked on a more “transformative” growth plan, it has received significant interest from larger investors to exercise such a strategy, he added.
Since it started trading, Anthesis has raised in excess of GBP 6m in equity.
McLachlan founded the company with the intention of creating a technology-focused sustainability services platform, he said. It now boasts more than 230 staff.
The big four – KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC – dominate the environmental resources management (ERM) sector, he said. On the other end of the scale there are a number of boutique consultancy firms – a number of which have been acquired by Anthesis – that focus on a single component within the “sustainability story” and confined to a single jurisdiction, he added.
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