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CM&A supports the sale of environmental consultants GoBe to APEM

7  June 2022

We are delighted to have had the opportunity of supporting the founders of GoBe Consultants, the leading environmental consultants in the UK’s growing offshore renewable market, in their acquisition by the APEM Group, a world-class environmental and geospatial consultancy which also includes AQUAFACT and Woodrow. GoBe’s team of 45, operating from offices in Devon and Glasgow, will join APEM’s team of over 300 staff. APEM themselves completed a management buyout in 2019 backed by private equity firm WestBridge.

Steve Bellew, one of the two GoBe founders said: “We were delighted to have appointed CMA to support us through the sale process.  Their experience and advice ensured we achieved an optimal outcome whilst their knowledge, support and diligence ensured the process proceeded smoothly through the due diligence and final transaction process.”

Bruce Ramsay, Managing Director at CM&A, explained that there is much that other consulting businesses, both in the ESG market and other sectors and services, can learn from the successful growth and sale of GoBe:

1.       Focus on a rapidly growing industry or market – in their case UK offshore windfarms – providing a service that the industry has to procure – in their case Environmental Impact Assessments

2.       Try to be an early entrant so that you accumulate knowledge and capability ahead of the competition to ensure you are demonstrably the most capable supplier in the sector.

3.       Use your knowledge, network and senior connections to become a trusted strategic advisor to the major customers and placed at the forefront of new project opportunities

GoBe owners Tim Golding and Steve Bellew first met when studying for their undergraduate degrees at Portsmouth Polytechnic (now University of Portsmouth). They remained friends and their paths continued to cross over the years until they decided to start GoBe in 2009 in response to the growing demands of the renewables industry. Seldom at arm’s length from the developer, GoBe provide informed and accurate advice as well as undertaking technical tasks, sharing their in-depth knowledge, and understanding of the consenting process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in particular. A driving factor in the decision-making process for Tim and Steve was the access to a large, international team to be able to deliver even more high quality strategic and project-specific planning and environmental advice.

APEM and GoBe have collaborated on many developments in the past, so the joining of forces is a meeting of minds and skills in its purest form. APEM is the global leader in digital wildlife surveys for offshore wind and has pioneered the use of LiDAR to accurately record bird flight heights.

The APEM Group’s CEO Dr Adrian Williams comments on the latest news: “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.”

The future of the renewables industry, especially offshore wind, is bright and the demand for strategic solutions and project-specific experts to support planning and environmental plans is high. The coming together of two highly respected organisations will provide an offering that is truly unique in the market.

APEM began life as a small niche consultancy in 1987. Over three decades, it has grown to a global environmental consultancy, providing a comprehensive range of integrated niche services for clients across Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. Now employing over 350 staff across its locations throughout the UK, Ireland and the US, the Group are specialists in marine, freshwater, terrestrial ecology and geospatial services. With a track record in developing best practice and integrating technological solutions for environmental challenges, the organisation provides a comprehensive range of integrated niche services for clients across UK & Ireland, Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia.