3i-backed SLR acquires Metago

14 May 2011

3i-backed SLR Management Ltd (“SLR”, “the Group”), one of the leading international environmental consultancies, today announces the acquisition of Metago International Holdings (Pty) Ltd (“Metago”), a leading South African environmental consultant to the mining industry. The consideration for the acquisition was c.£7m.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, Metago has 63 employees and offices in Pretoria, Swakopmund, Namibia and Perth, Australia.  It works throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in Australia for major mining companies including Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Lonmin and Gold Fields, consulting on all phases of mine life, with a particular specialism in mine waste and water management. 

Established in 1994, Metago grew its turnover for the year ended February 2011 by 28% to £7.2m.  Continued buoyant demand for its services is being driven by the global commodities boom prompting the major mining companies to invest in more environmentally-challenging and remote locations, whilst funding institutions are also increasingly adopting the Equator Principles, a framework for determining the social and environmental risks and sustainability of financing projects in the developing world. 

David Richards, Chief Executive of SLR, said:

“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Metago, in line with our strategy to significantly expand our international footprint into the resource-based economies which we expect to be particularly high growth markets for us for the foreseeable future.

“Metago provides us with highly complementary technical specialisms and a well-reputed presence in sub-Saharan Africa, whilst also strengthening our Western Australian operations considerably and, in combination with SLR’s existing strengths in resources and waste management, it will provide a strong platform for accelerated growth in the attractive African and Australian markets. 

“Today’s news marks the latest of four acquisitions, with a combined value of c.£25m, in the resources and energy sectors since early 2010 which have transformed SLR from being focussed on the UK and North America to being one of a very small number of truly international specialist environmental consultancies, with a strong footprint across Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, USA and now Africa.

About SLR Management

SLR is an international environmental consultancy, based near Oxford in the UK, with almost 900 employees working from 63 offices in the Europe, North America, Australasia, and Africa. SLR is one of a very small number of truly international specialist environmental consultancies. It provides global advice and support on a wide range of strategic and site-specific issues to a diverse and growing base of business, regulatory and governmental clients. Key areas of SLR’s business are the energy and mining sector where it is involved with both the oil and gas industry, renewable power including wind, energy from waste, hydropower and biomass, and advises mining companies and funding organisations throughout the world. SLR is also the leading consultant to the private sector waste management industry in the UK and undertakes a significant amount of planning and environmental impact assessment work for major commercial developers. 

SLR’s core markets of energy, natural resource and waste management have been relatively stable during the global financial crisis, and the Group, backed by 3i and Lloyds Banking group, has successfully delivered on its strategy of acquiring resilient, high quality businesses which are poised to grow through the opportunities emerging following the global financial crisis.

SLR is an employee controlled consultancy, with over 250 employee share and option holders, and also has the backing of 3i as a minority shareholder.
About Metago 

Established in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1994, Metago has since expanded to open offices in Pretoria, Swakopmund, Namibia and Perth, Australia .  It has 63 employees and is a specialist mine waste, water management and environmental impact/permitting consultancy that works throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in Australia.

Metago works across virtually all commodities and is particularly active in gold, platinum, coal, chrome, iron ore and uranium. Metago is currently working on the Rossing and Langer Heinrich uranium mines located in Namibia, which account for 12% of the world’s uranium production.