Environmental consultancy SLR buys Challenge Energy

21 November 2014 Consultancy.uk
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Consulting firm SLR has recently purchased oil and gas solutions provider Challenge Energy, a move that is in line with its strategy to provide high quality consultancy. As part of the deal, the two teams will merge and work from Challenge Energy’s base in Guildford, led by Challenge founder Nick Hooke. Prior to the sale, Challenge Energy had hired Equiteq to advice on how to market the firm to possible buyers.

Challenge Energy is an in 1997 founded provider of integrated upstream oil and gas solutions with particular focus in the UK, North West Europe and Africa. The team of 16 professionals comprises geoscientists, reservoir and petroleum engineers, economists, as well as commercial and financial experts. The company works across 48 countries and for half of the FTSE 350 listed oil and gas producers.

SLR is an in 1994 founded international environmental consulting firm that provides multidisciplinary advice from in-house experts on a wide range of strategic and site specific environmental and sustainability issues. The firm has approximately 1100 employees working from its 65+ offices in Africa, Australasia, Europe, and North America.

SLR buys Challenge Energy

The acquisition of UK-based consultancy Challenge Energy is in line with SLR’s strategy to provide high quality consultancy services on a global basis, and is the company’s fifth deal in the oil and gas sector this year. For Challenge Energy, combining forces with the UK oil and gas team of SLR will strengthened its offering of integrated services across the upstream oil and gas value chain. In addition, the firm will gain access to SLR’s global oil and gas offering including environmental and regulatory compliance.

As part of the acquisition, the companies’ teams will merge into one team that will be led by Nick Hooke, the founder of Challenge Energy who will continue as Managing Director of Challenge, and work out of the Challenge Energy Guildford office. The management team will be augmented by SLR’s Technical Director, Hamish Wilson.

Nick Hooke - co founder Challenge Energy and Neil Penhall - CEO SLR

“Merging with SLR’s team allows us to strengthen our offering across the upstream value chain, particularly in exploration-related services. We also gain access to SLR’s wider global oil and gas offering, including environmental and regulatory compliance,” comments Hooke. “Our acquisition approach is to select complementary businesses that provide supplementary expertise and strengthen our global offering. Like SLR, Challenge prides itself on offering an integrated service that delivers value-added insight and solutions to clients,” adds Neil Penhall, CEO of SLR.

Equiteq advised Challenge Energy

M&A process
Prior to the sale, Challenge Energy hired Equiteq, an M&A advisor for consulting firms, to advice on ways how make the value of their business clear to prospective partners and how to deal with their approaches. “The advisory team at Equiteq and Corbett Keeling provided crucial input both prior to and during this transaction. This helped us attract the right company, at the right time for the right price. Throughout, they were always available when needed, working diligently and providing incisive, timely advice,” comments Nick Hooke co-founder of Challenge Energy on Equiteq’s involvement.