Advising WestBridge-backed APEM on 2 acquisitions in 7 months

WestBridge portfolio company APEM has completed its second acquisition in seven months, as it pursues ambitious growth.

The Manchester-headquartered environmental consultancy has acquired Galway-based AQUAFACT International Services, a specialist in marine surveys. The transaction follows APEM’s acquisition of Woodrow, an environmental and sustainability consultancy, in July 2021.

This latest deal reinforces its reputation as a leading player in the global environmental consultancy sector, with expertise in the marine, freshwater, terrestrial and geospatial fields.

Elizabeth Cotton and Tom Kelleher from Capital’s corporate team, with support from specialists across the firm, advised APEM on both deals.

Dr Adrian Williams, CEO at APEM Group, said:

We have known Brendan and the team at AQUAFACT for many years and therefore know that they deliver the highest quality marine consultancy services which complement our own marine and indeed wider ecological offering. Bringing AQUAFACT into the APEM Group enables both of us to provide more services to more of our clients collectively. This together with the expanding Irish offshore wind market means that it’s an extremely exciting time to be working in environmental consultancy across Ireland and indeed further afield and we are delighted that AQUAFACT can be part of that journey with us.

APEM has gone from strength to strength since it completed a management buy-out in 2019, supported by WestBridge, who made a £9.8 million investment in equity and loan notes. Capital also advised at the time (read more here).

WestBridge is an independent, award winning Private Equity house that invests in UK buyouts and mid-market companies. They have been a key client of Capital Law’s corporate team for over 10 years, who have supported them on 13 investments to date and all their realisations under the 1st and 2nd (£140m) fund.

Peter Barkley, Director at WestBridge, said:

APEM operates in a fragmented market. A core part of our strategy is to pursue compelling opportunities that add to our capabilities with strategic acquisitions like this in both domestic and international markets. We are delighted to have supported this transaction and the continued growth of the APEM Group. Our acquisition of both AQUAFACT and Woodrow, combined with APEM’s existing business in Ireland, mean we now have a full service offering and are a leading player in the Irish market.

Tom Kelleher, who leads Capital’s Corporate & Private Equity team, said:

APEM is at the forefront of environmental consultancy, supporting businesses across the UK and internationally, ensuring best practice and regulatory compliance in an incredibly important sector. The APEM Group, led by Dr Adrian Williams and Dr Stuart Clough, with the support of WestBridge, has ambitious growth plans focused on delivery of an ever-expanding breadth of quality services for their clients and the two recent acquisitions enable them to do just that.

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