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LAVA Advisory Partners complete their first major ESG deal with Cura Terrae merger

LAVA Advisory Partners are pleased to announce their first major transaction in the ESG sector following Palatine’s Impact Fund’s acquisition of a significant shareholding in newly created environmental services group, Cura Terrae.

Headquartered in Sheffield, Cura Terrae, Latin for ‘take care of the earth’, is a purpose-driven business consisting of three market-leading companies, Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS), Ecus and Envirocare. Led by entrepreneur Professor Pete Skipworth and Chief Finance Officer Sara Blannin, the group employs almost 240 people. This number is expected to increase to 300 by the end of 2022, with combined revenues of around £18m.

Acting as lead advisors for Cura Terrae’s three companies and their shareholders, LAVA played a central role in the merger, advocating for the group’s initial formation to maximise its complementary service offerings, and advising each organisation throughout the consolidation phase. With a dynamic merger timeline taking place alongside the deal process, the LAVA team created maximum value by managing multiple shareholder groups across Cura Terrae’s distinct trio of infrastructures.

The deal with Palatine’s Impact Fund ensures Cura Terrae’s three businesses will retain their area of specialities while benefiting from a range of centralised services, as well as Palatine’s award-winning and pioneering ESG framework. Palatine’s highly successful track record in buy-and-build will also enable the company to stand out in a fragmented marketplace, making a name for itself as a growing national environmental services organisation offering market-leading solutions across land, air and water.

The deal also sees Piers Clark, a respected water sector professional, becoming non-executive Chair of Cura Terrae alongside Palatine’s Impact Fund Partner James Gregson, who led the investment with Investment Manager Greg Holmes.

Selecting LAVA as our advisors was key to achieving a great outcome in starting Cura Terrae. We brought three companies together to form the group, buying a further company during the process. We were strongly supported from start to finish by Claire and the LAVA team, from the selection of our PE backers, through to deal completion and all the steps in between. The LAVA team’s proactivity and breadth and depth of knowledge in PE was the foundation of a very successful outcome and robust start for Cura Terrae.

Professor Pete Skipworth CEO of Cura Terrae

We are really proud to be a part of Cura Terrae’s formation. It’s such an exciting time for the sector and what a growth story to be part of. Pete, Sara and the wider team have created something that is going to have a huge impact in the environmental space and we’re really looking forward to watching that journey unfold.

Claire Davis Partner at LAVA Advisory Partners

While the Cura Terrae merger is LAVA’s first major ESG transaction since its 2020 launch, the firm have been demonstrating their interest in the sector through numerous activities – first as advisers in Ecus’ 2021 acquisition of Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA) and more recently with LAVA’s investment in Furthr, a climate engagement platform. In line with its pending B Corp status, drive to use business as a force for good and growing expertise and networks in the sector, LAVA are set to announce further successful ESG ventures throughout 2022.