London-based private equity firm 3i has bought a stake in SLR Holdings in a deal worth approximately £100m from ISIS Equity Partners.
The sale to 3i has yielded a 6x multiple and an IRR of 72% for ISIS.
SLR is a UK-headquartered environmental consultancy with a specific focus in the energy sector. ISIS had initially invested in SLR in late 2004 with an opening minority stake investment of £4.85m. ISIS then followed up supporting two major acquisitions: UK firm Insite Environmental and Canadian environmental consultancy Seacor Environmental in 2007 resulting in almost a quadrupling of the workforce – from 168 in 2004 to 650. Over a third of SLR’s revenues are now generated outside of the UK.
3i has experience in the environmental sector having successfully supported the growth of ERM which it sold in 2005 to Bridgepoint for US$535m.
Commenting on ISIS’s three year investment in SLR, Liz Jones, who managed the investment, said: “We have supported SLR through an impressive period of growth, where its geographic footprint, range of services and reputation have all developed strongly. This success has been underpinned by the exceptional culture within SLR, which today has over 220 employee shareholders. We are delighted to have realised this investment, which has yielded an excellent return on our original investment’.
This is ISIS’s fourth sale this year. Back in January it sold Hawksmere, a UK provider of legal, professional, senior management and compliance training, to Kaplan Financial for an undisclosed amount which generated a 2.5x return for the private equity firm. In the same month it sold marketing group RLA for £20m.
In April it sold kidsunlimited, a Cheshire-based operator of children’s nurseries, to
Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) in a deal worth £45m.