Environmental consultancy APEM Group has secured a +£50m debt package and additional accordion from Tikehau Capital, the global alternative asset management group, with an additional £7.5m working capital facility from Virgin Money.
The funding refinances the group’s existing borrowings and provides substantial capital to accelerate its ambitious growth strategy. This week, APEM reinforced its position as a leading player in the global environmental sector with the acquisition of Dublin-based Macro Works, its fourth transaction in two years.
APEM has gone from strength to strength since private equity firm WestBridge supported a management buyout in March 2019, and has seen revenue increase from £10m to forecast c.£60m in the current financial year.
APEM attracted interest from a wide range of lenders but selected Tikehau Capital because of its ability to support the long-term growth ambitions of the group, with a capability to provide additional firepower in the future, and its commitment to responsible investing and ESG.
APEM Group chief strategy officer, Leah McGimpsey, said:
“Demand for end-to-end environmental consultancy continues to grow and we are leading the way by constantly evolving a range of highly specialised services, enabling us to be a greater partner to our clients, people and the communities across which we operate.
“Alongside strategic acquisitions, we are committed to maintaining sustainable organic growth by nurturing existing relationships and expanding our service offerings into new regions. Tikehau Capital reinforces our financial strength and brings synergistic values to support our aspirations.”
APEM chief executive officer, Dr Adrian E Williams, added:
“This is an exciting development in APEM’s continuing journey, and the partnership with Tikehau Capital will be pivotal in allowing us to capitalise on the opportunities we see ahead of us and expand our position as the ‘go to’ world-class environmental consultancy .”
Cécile Mayer-Lévi, Head of Private Debt and Paolo Morrone, Head of UK Direct Lending at Tikehau Capital, said:
“APEM’s remarkable organic growth is testament to the company’s forward-thinking approach, exceptional technical expertise and dedication to environmental sustainability while serving highly strategic sectors such as renewable energy and infrastructure. We are delighted to be partnering with the APEM Group in its next chapter of expansion, and supporting its further inorganic growth.
“We are confident that Tikehau Capital’s understanding and activities within the broader energy transition and sustainability megatrends will match and support APEM’s ambition in its next phase of growth, as the company navigates the rapidly evolving environmental consultancy landscape.”
Peter Barkley, partner at WestBridge, said:
“Onboarding Tikehau Capital as a funding partner is a transformational step in APEM’s journey, providing significant firepower to support further acquisitions both in the UK and internationally to supplement the group’s organic growth strategy. As a long-term funding partner to the group, we are delighted to see Virgin Money continue their support as part of this refinance.
“Our M&A strategy has, and remains, focussed on adding highly specialist, like-minded acquisitions to the group. WestBridge has supported the management team to build a pipeline of high-quality targets and with these facilities on board we expect to make a number of further acquisitions before the end of this financial year.”
APEM was advised by:
Tom Barnwell and Hertej Rattan, Clearwater Debt advisory
Gregg Pendlington and Ross Thomas, Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance
For further information, please contact:
About APEM Group
• APEM Group has employees in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany and the USA.
• APEM provides independent environmental consultancy and expert advice to a wide range of industries including water, renewables, power and utilities, marine and ports, transport, construction and development
• The company provides digital aerial wildlife surveys, specialist marine, freshwater, terrestrial ecology and geospatial services to organisations across the world.
• July 2021, APEM acquired Woodrow, an environmental and sustainability consultancy based in County Sligo, Ireland
• February 2022, APEM acquired AQUAFACT, a specialist in marine surveys, based in Galway, Ireland
• May 2022, APEM acquired GoBe Consultants, a planning and environmental services consultancy based in Devon and Glasgow
WestBridge is a lower mid-market private equity provider that partners with ambitious businesses from its three offices in London, Manchester and Cardiff.
Since WestBridge commenced investing, the firm has completed eight realisations from its two funds. Of these, 50% have delivered over a 4x return and 65% have generated over a 3x multiple. Both funds have been independently benchmarked in the top quartile for their vintage.
WestBridge is a specialist in primary buyouts and buy and build transactions. We partner with management teams to deploy our proven Value Creation Model to scale businesses and accelerate their growth. Our stable of operating consultants are engaged at the appropriate time to support and accelerate business development.
WestBridge typically invests between £10m-£30m in established and fast-growing UK SMEs with EBITDA of £2m-£6m and enterprise value of up to £60m.
About Tikehau Capital
Tikehau Capital is a global alternative asset management group with €39.7 billion of assets under management (at 31 March 2023). Tikehau Capital has developed a wide range of expertise across four asset classes (private debt, real assets, private equity and capital markets strategies) as well as multi-asset and special opportunities strategies. Tikehau Capital is a founder led team with a differentiated business model, a strong balance sheet, proprietary global deal flow and a track record of backing high quality companies and executives. Deeply rooted in the real economy, Tikehau Capital provides bespoke and innovative alternative financing solutions to companies it invests in and seeks to create long-term value for its investors, while generating positive impacts on society. Leveraging its strong equity base (€3.1 billion of shareholders’ equity at 31 December 2022), the firm invests its own capital alongside its investor-clients within each of its strategies. Controlled by its managers alongside leading institutional partners, Tikehau Capital is guided by a strong entrepreneurial spirit and DNA, shared by its 742 employees (at 31 December 2022) across its 14 offices in Europe, Asia and North America. Tikehau Capital is listed in compartment A of the regulated Euronext Paris market (ISIN code: FR0013230612; Ticker: TKO.FP). For more information, please visit: www.tikehaucapital.com.
Tikehau Capital: Valérie Sueur – +33 1 40 06 39 30
UK – Prosek Partners: Ryan Smith – +44 (0) 7854750943
USA – Prosek Partners: Trevor Gibbons – +1 646 818 9238
Shareholder and Investor Contacts:
Louis Igonet – +33 1 40 06 11 11
Théodora Xu – +33 1 40 06 18 56