Global alternative asset and private equity investor KKR announced today an agreement to acquire a majority stake in sustainability advisory ERM from OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).

With more than 5,500 employees in over 150 offices in more than 40 countries, ERM is the largest global pure play sustainability consultancy. ERM helps its clients shape their ESG strategies, and identify and address their key sustainability issues, across environmental, health, safety, risk and social, utilizing a “boots to boardroom” approach to operationalize sustainability and to implement ESG best practices.

The acquisition comes as investor, consumer and regulatory pressure is increasing the need for companies to focus on the sustainability aspects of their operations and to understand their broader impact. This growing demand has been driving consolidation in the advisory field, as companies look to boost their sustainability skillsets, and refocus resources on ESG. Last month, ERM acquired Dutch sustainability consulting firm Sustainalize, expanding its presence in Continental Europe, and global consulting firm McKinsey launched a new climate-focused advisory platform, following its acquisition of strategic economics consultancy Vivid Economics, and climate analytics platform Planetrics.

Mattia Caprioli, Tim Franks and Ken Mehlman, Partners at KKR, Franziska Kayser, Managing Director at KKR, and Rami Bibi, Director at KKR, said:

“True expertise in sustainability and environmental matters is more important than ever. We are proud to invest in an organization like ERM and its partners, as they continue to help organizations implement ESG management best practices across their operations.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. OMERS and AIMco acquired their stake in ERM in 2015 at an enterprise value of $1.7 billion. ERM’s management team and Partners will continue to be minority investors.

Keryn James, ERM Chief Executive Officer, said:

“At ERM, we are committed to working alongside every one of the world’s leading organizations to achieve their sustainability goals. This long-term partnership with KKR will allow us to expand and accelerate our client impact, and bring new capabilities and technologies to the business of sustainability.”

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