Posted: 31 May 2022

WestBridge backed APEM Group completes third acquisition in 12 months

WestBridge backed APEM Group completes third acquisition in 12 months

WestBridge backed APEM Group completes third acquisition in 12 months and secures £25m sustainability linked refinance

WESTBRIDGE portfolio company APEM Group has completed its biggest acquisition to-date and its third in under a year.

The Manchester-headquartered environmental consultancy has acquired GoBe Consultants, a planning and environmental services consultancy with offices in Devon and Glasgow.  The transaction follows APEM Group’s acquisition of Woodrow in July 2021 and AQUAFACT earlier this year.

GoBe provides consultancy services to developers of offshore wind and other nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) as they navigate the consent process.

The APEM Group has gone from strength to strength since WestBridge supported a management buyout in March 2019 with EBITDA increasing from £2m at investment to £8m in the current financial year. The Group now employs 380 people and is recognised as a leading player in the environmental consultancy sector, where it offers an unparalleled range of specialist services and technical capabilities to public and private sector organisations across the world.

As part of this transaction, APEM Group secured a £25m refinance from Virgin Money (formerly CYBG PLC) to refinance existing facilities and fund this acquisition. 

WestBridge director Peter Barkley, who worked on the deal with Rebecca Sinclair, said:  “Our partnership with the APEM team is a great case study for WestBridge’s value creation model.  Strong organic growth and astute management has enabled us to build a high quality platform with which to pursue strategic acquisitions.  GoBe has an excellent reputation and the services it provides are a perfect addition to the world class service offering of the APEM Group. The combination of GoBe and APEM positions the Group as a leading provider to the offshore wind market globally. It goes without saying, we are delighted to have supported this latest transaction and look forward to welcoming the GoBe team to the APEM Group.”

APEM Group CEO, Dr Adrian Williams, said: “As ever, we are grateful for the unwavering support and pragmatic advice provided by the team at WestBridge. This is another positive step as we pursue our ambitious growth strategy.  The future of the renewables industry, especially offshore wind, is bright and the demand for experts to support environmental planning is strong.  The services offered by GoBe are a perfect supplement to what APEM already offers.  Their additional specialisms dovetail perfectly and will increase the scope of our activities for new and existing customers.”

Andrew Carson, senior director at Virgin Money said: “Virgin Money is delighted to support APEM through its next growth phase with one of our sustainability linked loans, which reduce the cost of finance for businesses like this who are proactively helping the economy transition to a more sustainable model.”

APEM was advised by Gregg Pendlington and Ross Thomas (DSW Corporate Finance); Sarah Hale and Tom Kelleher (Capital Law); Sophie Colloby (DSW Transaction Services).  Calash and BDO provided commercial and tax due diligence respectively.

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