Charterhouse Capital Partners agrees to sale of SLR Consulting to Ares Management
June 20, 2022
Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP (“Charterhouse”), one of the longest established private equity firms operating in Europe, and SLR Consulting (“SLR” or the “Company”), a leading global environmental and sustainability consultancy, announce today that they have entered into an agreement to sell the Company to a Private Equity fund managed by Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”). The transaction will be implemented by way of a conditional court approved scheme of arrangement by SLR and it is anticipated that completion will take place by Q4 2022, subject to applicable shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Under Charterhouse’s ownership, SLR has been transformed from a pure-play environmental consultancy to a leading provider of ESG and sustainability services, with over 2,300 employees across more than 100 offices world-wide. During this time, the Company has expanded through organic growth initiatives generating double-digit growth, combined with targeted M&A activity. EBITDA has increased by over 100% since entry, underpinned by 15 add-on acquisitions completed in this period. Notable acquisitions have included Corporate Citizenship, which created a market leading practice in ESG advisory, reporting, and carbon/climate services, and Vectos, which significantly enhanced SLR’s advisory services in the infrastructure and built environment sectors. SLR also strengthened its global footprint during the period, expanding its existing presence in key regions such as the United States, mainland Europe and APAC.
Chris Warren, Partner at Charterhouse Capital Partners, commented: “We are proud to have supported SLR during a period of significant expansion and growth, which saw the firm transformed into a global leader in ESG and sustainability consulting. The firm’s success is a testament to SLR’s management and their wider team, and we are confident that SLR is well positioned for future success as the demand for ESG and sustainability consultancy continues to grow rapidly.”
Neil Penhall, CEO at SLR, remarked: “Charterhouse has been a vital partner in the successful delivery of ambitious expansion plans over the past four years and we thank them for their support. Together, we have been able to strategically evolve our business to capitalise on growing demand for a wide range of ESG and sustainability services – importantly bringing together strong strategic advisory capability with technical solutions. Looking ahead, we are excited for the next stage of our continued growth journey with backing from Ares and the support of their global platform. With Ares, we have found a partner with strong experience investing behind growth companies with great cultures and a shared commitment to sustainability.”
Stephane Etroy, Partner and Head of European Private Equity in the Ares Private Equity Group, said: “We are excited to support SLR in this next phase of growth. We believe that heightened focus on sustainability and the secular trends supporting the acceleration of climate transition will continue to provide strong growth opportunities for the company. With our global platform and relationship network, we believe that we will be able to support SLR in executing on additional levers of value creation in the coming years.”
Charterhouse originally acquired a majority stake in London-headquartered SLR Consulting in 2018, having tracked the business for four years. Charterhouse has significant experience in the environmental consulting sector and leveraged its network of industry experts and managers to secure the deal alongside SLR’s management team. The broader consulting sub-sector has continued to be a strong area of focus for Charterhouse, resulting in recent investments in LCP, the leading provider of pension and investment consulting services in the UK, and Labelium, a leading B2B digital marketing performance consultancy.