Consulting M&A advises GoBe on its sale to APEM

14 June 2022 3 min. read

Environmental advisory GoBe Consultants has been purchased by APEM Group for an undisclosed fee. The deal was supported by experts from Consulting M&A. 

Tim Golding and Steve Bellew founded GoBe Consultants in 2009, in response to the growing demands of the renewables industry. In the years since, GoBe has come to provide informed and accurate advice to clients, while also undertaking technical tasks, sharing in-depth knowledge, and understanding of the consenting process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in particular.

As the firm’s leadership look to scale the rapidly growing company, becoming part of APEM Group was seen as an excellent opportunity to access a large, international team, helping to deliver even more high quality strategic and project-specific planning and environmental advice.

Consulting M&A advises GoBe on its sale to APEM

APEM itself began life as a small niche consultancy – in 1987 – but the following three decades saw it expand to become a global environmental consultancy, providing a comprehensive range of integrated niche services for clients across Europe, the US, Australia and Asia.

The firm completed a management buyout in 2019 backed by private equity firm WestBridge, and now employs over 350 staff across its locations throughout the UK, Ireland and the US.

APEM specialises in marine, freshwater, terrestrial ecology and geospatial services. It also boasts a track record in developing best practice and integrating technological solutions for environmental challenges.

As the future success of a decarbonised economy becomes increasingly tied to the renewables industry, especially offshore wind, demand for strategic solutions and project-specific experts to support planning and environmental plans is high.

The coming together of APEM and GoBe builds on several collaborations in the past, “so synergies are already well-known,” said APEM’s CEO Adrian Williams.

“We’ve worked with Steve, Tim and the rest of the team at GoBe for several years now so I’ve known for a while that together we’d be the ‘dream team’. I’m super excited by this move and believe that the coming together of two such highly respected organisations will provide an offering that is truly unique in the market.”

GoBe’s team of 45, operating from offices in Devon and Glasgow, will join APEM’s team as a result of the move.

Deal advisory

Consulting M&A supported the founders of GoBe throughout the dealmaking process. According to Bellew, Consulting M&A’s experience and advice “ensured we achieved an optimal outcome” while the team’s support and diligence enabled the process to proceed “smoothly through the due diligence and final transaction process.”

Bruce Ramsay, Managing Director at Consulting M&A, meanwhile explained that there is much that other consulting businesses can learn from the successful growth and sale of GoBe.

Especially those in the ESG market. Ramsay explained, “[Consultancies should] focus on a rapidly growing industry or market – in the case of GoBe, UK offshore windfarms – providing a service that the industry has to procure, in this case environmental impact assessments. They should also try to be an early entrant so that they can accumulate knowledge and capability ahead of the competition to ensure they are demonstrably the most capable supplier in the sector.”

“Finally, firms must use their knowledge, network and senior connections to become trusted strategic advisors to the major customers and be placed at the forefront of new project opportunities.”