UK environmental consultancy SLR acquires Novus Environmental

23 May 2019 3 min. read

Guelph and Calgary–based Novus Environmental has been acquired by UK-based global environmental consulting firm SLR. The transaction, powered by investment from Charterhouse Capital Partners, is SLR’s third acquisition in four months.

Founded in 1994 as SECOR Ltd, Buckinghamshire, UK–based SLR quickly grew into one of the fastest growing and most profitable environmental consultancies in Britain. The company specializes in supporting the oil and gas, mining and minerals, infrastructure, built environment, manufacturing, and power sectors.

A 2004 investment from private equity firm Livingbridge kicked SLR’s acquisition strategy into second gear, leading to the purchase of UK-based Waste Management Engineering Ltd, UK-based FMH Consulting Engineers, Canadian company SEACOR Environmental Inc, Alaska-based Hoefler Consulting Group, and South African-based GreenEng, as well as a host of others, in the following years.

In 2018, private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in SLR, positioning the company for further expansion. SLR currently has approximately 1,200 employees across offices in North America, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

UK environmental consultancy SLR acquires Novus Environmental

In December 2018, the environmental consultancy absorbed Australian environmental specialist Northern Resource Consulting, and followed that deal up in March with the acquisition of groundwater specialist HydroSimulations, also based in Australia.

SLR has now acquired Novus Environmental, a 25-person team with offices in Guelph, ON and Calgary. The firm specializes in the areas of air quality, wind & climate, sound & vibration, and sustainable water, advising businesses and developers on how to effectively manage the “complex interactions” between the built and natural environments.

Novus has advised on a number of high-profile projects, serving as the acoustic consultant on The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour – addressing the control of noise within and surrounding the development – and evaluating the effect of wind on the Rockefeller River Campus at Rockefeller University in NYC.

The acquisition bolsters SLR’s air quality, noise and vibration, and wind and climate capabilities in its North America business. The Novus team will join SLR’s Canada business, which will grow to 280 employees and 18 offices across the country.

SLR previously strengthened its noise and vibration capabilities in North America with the acquisition of HFP Acoustical in 2014. Based in Calgary and Houston, the firm had previously completed over 2,800 acoustical engineering projects.

“We’re really pleased to welcome the Novus team to SLR,” Neil Penhall, SLR CEO, said. “They have some great capabilities which will strengthen our North American business and benefit our clients globally. This is our third acquisition in four months and again reflects the confidence both we and our new investors, Charterhouse Capital Partners, have in the market and the opportunities to provide world-class environmental solutions to our clients.”

Darron Chin-Quee, principal at Novus, added, “We are delighted to join the SLR team and bring our capabilities and experience into the group. The combined firm provides greater depth of resources, expertise and geographical reach to better service our clients and to develop the potential of our people. This next chapter for Novus is exciting for our new colleagues, our staff, and especially clients of the Novus/SLR team.”