Carlyle invests in global ESG consultancy first backed by Palatine

Global Investment firm Carlyle acquired a majority stake in Anthesis, a sustainability advisory firm alongside employee shareholders with original backer Palatine. 

The Manchester-headquartered private equity investor is reinvesting for a minority stake. 

Details of the transaction are not being disclosed but Palatine is revealing 6x return on the initial investment in Anthesis from their Impact and Buyout funds in 2021, which Palatine’s Gary Tipper told at the time there was a ‘deep cultural alignment’ between the businesses.

Beth Houghton, Impact Managing Partner at Palatine, added: “We have enjoyed a close and successful partnership with Stuart McLachlan and the Anthesis team achieving significant organic growth and five successful acquisitions, this has delivered strong impact and returns for Palatine.  

“By re-investing, the Impact fund will continue to deliver on our mission of generating Returns with Purpose. We’re excited to be part of the next stage of the journey alongside Carlyle, as more organisations embrace the imperative to act with urgency to address the climate crisis,” she said. 

The acquisitions Palatine funded include ESG advisory firm Wallbrook and Swiss-based marketing agency Chalescannon, Canadian agri-food specialist Provision Coalition Inc and Padd Energy, a UK-based consultancy supporting the transition to low carbon.

Over the last 10 years, Anthesis has grown to serve  4,000 clients across corporates, financial and governmental institutions, with a growth in the team of 1,250 specialists across 39 offices in 22 countries.

Clients include Tesco, Amazon, Unilever and Network Rail.

Bloomberg reported that the deal values Anthesis at about £400 million ($508 million).

Founder Stuart McLachlan, CEO of Anthesis, said: ”Anthesis is uniquely positioned to provide the holistic solutions the market demands, harnessing its advisory, digital, carbon, and
communication skills in response to regulatory and stakeholder pressures.

“We are excited to work closely with Carlyle to further strengthen their approach to ESG and sustainability, as they seek to lead by example in the global investment industry. We will
continue to act as guides to our clients, realizing the value creation opportunity of sustainability in our rapidly changing world.”

Gary Tipper, Managing Partner at Palatine said: “As an investor committed to delivering sustainable returns, Anthesis’ commitment to drive change and performance across its global client base aligns perfectly with our purpose of delivering positive equity. We’re very pleased to be reinvesting as it enters a new chapter in its growth story.

“Anthesis is an exceptional business with a great opportunity to build on the excellent progress it’s made since partnering with us two-and-a-half years ago.”

Palatine was advised by Lazard (corporate finance), Eversheds-Sutherland (legal), Deloitte (financial), Boston Consulting Group (commercial), Swan Partners (financial consulting)
and RSM (tax).

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