London-based consultancy GoodBrand joins Anthesis Group

14 February 2019

GoodBrand, a consulting firm based in the UK’s capital, has been acquired by Anthesis Group for an undisclosed fee. The deal marks Anthesis’ 12th purchase since it was established six years ago, as it seeks to hasten its rapid expansion across Europe.

Founded in 1998, GoodBrand is a London-headquartered consultancy built on the idea that sustainability strategy could be a source of strategic advantage to clients. In the 20 years since its launch, this has seen the firm support a number of high-profile clients with the integration of sustainability insights with their innovation and strategy plans. Notable examples have seen GoodBrand work on Nespresso’s AAA Sustainability Quality Programme and Positive Cup strategy, Danone Nutricia’s Early Years Nutrition Partnership, and Unilever’s Sunlight Water Centres – part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Sustainability is moving up the corporate agenda. Recent Bain & Company research found that 81% of companies believe sustainability is more important today than it was five years ago. A further 85% said that it will be more important still in another five years, suggesting that there is a major corporate appetite for consulting services to help bring their key business goals in line with their sustainability practices. As a result, firms like GoodBrand present an attractive proposition for acquisitions to other industry players.

London-based consultancy GoodBrand joins Anthesis Group

Anthesis Group is a global sustainability and solutions provider, and since its formation in 2013, the firm has now made a total of 12 acquisitions to that end. This includes deals for Best Foot Forward, UMR, Caleb Management Services, Second Nature, M4C, LRS Consultancy (who also acquired Urban Mines), TEP ME, Mosaic Sustainability, Enveco SE, Sustain and MADE-BY, with GoodBrand becoming the latest addition to the firm.

The strategic acquisition supports Anthesis Group’s strong growth ambitions for the next phase of its development, which is expanding the breadth of sustainability and technology offerings available to its clients. Having grown to 250 experts across 11 countries in five years and continuing to achieve annual sales growth in excess of 25%, 2019 ambitions will see the company integrate more industry talent and consultancies, expanding services and geographic reach.

Commenting on the acquisition, Stuart McLachlan, Anthesis Group’s CEO said, “With the calibre of expertise, common values and services that unite perfectly with ours, I’m pleased to welcome GoodBrand to Anthesis. It will strengthen our offering and further enable us to answer these complex, but vital questions for our clients. We expect to see continued significant M&A activity as the professional services sector galvanises and mobilises in response to growing organisational needs for sustainability integration.”

Founder and Chairman of GoodBrand, Dean Sanders, added, “By joining Anthesis Group, with its global network and deep expertise across a wide range of sustainability areas, we are taking an important step forward in servicing our clients’ needs and achieving our mission to scale impact. We have been impressed by the ambition and focus of Anthesis in delivering sustainable solutions and found common ground in our shared values and ways of working.”

Related: Sustainability transformations remain difficult to achieve finds study.

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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”