Acquisitive APEM aims for £30m earnings after Australian deal

Leah McGimpsey

Environmental consultancy group APEM Group is on course to be making £30m a year after acquiring Biosis, one of Australia’s leading ecology and heritage consultancies.

The Stockport-based group, backed by private equity investor WestBridge, now has a “significant presence” in Australia, and has added 150 colleagues and nine offices to its global footprint.

WestBridge has supported an ambitious growth strategy at APEM since backing an MBO in March 2019.

Accelerated growth over the past three years has seen APEM complete seven acquisitions, but this latest deal is its first in the Asia-Pacific region.

Peter Barkley, partner at WestBridge, said: “APEM Group continues to go from strength to strength both domestically and internationally. Australia is a key territory for growth and this latest acquisition opens up a raft of opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region.

This is a significant transaction that transforms APEM Group into a truly global environmental consultancy. Biosis brings new capabilities to the Group and access to clients in key Australian markets.

“This sets up the Group for further significant growth in Australia and accelerates delivery of its international growth plan.  If potential acquisitions targeted for later this year are taken into account, the Group could well become a c£30m EBITDA business by the end of 2024.

“Leah and her leadership team continue to add complementary businesses that share a commitment to science-led, data-enabled environmental solutions, growing the business at pace and scale.”

Marc Yaffe, Leah McGimpsey, Caroline Grant and Michael Taylor

Leah McGimpsey, APEM Group CEO, who spoke at a TheBusinessDesk,com event last year, said: “As one of Australia’s leading ecology and heritage consultants, Biosis’ commitment to science, data and exceptional client service aligns with our Group ethos.

“Bringing Biosis into the Group is an important step in delivering our people strategy to build great teams where colleagues can work together across the Group to collaborate on new and exciting opportunities, learn from each other and develop and expand their careers.

“Biosis joining the Group truly transforms our ability to serve clients locally in Australia. With 150 new colleagues across 9 offices, this acquisition brings national ecology, botany, zoology and heritage capabilities into the Group that will benefit our clients in Australia, giving the Group significant in-country presence and accelerating our growth strategy in Asia Pacific.”

Gregg Pendlington and Ross Thomas of Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) provided corporate finance advice to APEM Group, working alongside Aequo Partners – the Australian representative from DSW’s international M&A network, Pandea.

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