UK’s SLR acquires Australia’s GSS Environmental consultancy

Environmental consultancy SLR Management Ltd has bought GSS Environmental (GSSE), a leading Australian provider of consulting and project management services to clients in the mining, minerals, land development and natural resource sectors.

GSS Environmental is a top consultant to the coal extraction industry in Australia, having advised on approximately 60% of Australia’s coal mines, and counts BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata amongst its clients.

With turnover for the period ended 30th June 2012 of £5m, it has 50 employees operating from offices in Newcastle, in New South Wales, and Mackay, in central Queensland.

3i-backed SLR said the acquisition contributes to the Group’s strategy of augmenting organic growth by the selective acquisition of high calibre companies to strengthen and extend its technical and geographic coverage.

GSS Environmental brings significant expertise in the coal mining industry, including advising on environmental impact and risk assessments, geological mapping, mine design and development approvals, mine closure and rehabilitation and ongoing monitoring.

Once merged with SLR’s existing Australian operations, the combined business will have 225 employees providing specialist environmental services to the energy, mining, industrial, waste management, infrastructure and planning and development sectors.

David Richards, Chief Executive of SLR, commenting on the acquisition, noted that acquisition follows the purchase of Metago, an environmental consultancy in South Africa and Western Australia. He said there were “further potential acquisitions in the pipeline,” with the group’s strong presence in Australia, Canada, Southern Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and its expanding technical expertise providing a strong platform for accelerated growth in 2013.

SLR is headquartered near Oxford in the UK, with a network of offices in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Namibia, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and USA.

Its 900 specialist employees provide advice and support on strategic and site-specific issues to corporate, regulatory and governmental clients. The Group is also the leading consultant to the private sector waste management industry in the UK. Its core markets of energy, natural resource and waste management have been relatively stable during the global financial crisis.

In the Group’s latest results, for the year ended 31 October 2011, it reported a 24% increase in revenues to £83.3m and a record EBITA before exceptional items of £9.1 million. SLR is an employee controlled consultancy, with over 400 employee share and option holders, and also has the backing of 3i as a minority shareholder.

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