Growth set to bloom at Cura Terrae as Palatine Impact invests


Our Impact Fund has acquired newly created environmental services group, Cura Terrae, further bolstering our commitment to investing in companies that create environmental or social change and generating returns with purpose.

Headquartered in Sheffield, Cura Terrae, the Latin form of ‘take care of the earth’, is a purpose-driven business led by experienced entrepreneur Professor Pete Skipworth.

Cura Terrae comprises three market-leading businesses, Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS), Ecus and Envirocare, and will look for further suitable complementary acquisitions to add to the Group as part of a strategic growth plan.

Ecus provides holistic environmental consultancy services to support the development of UK infrastructure and services include air quality, arboriculture, carbon services, ecology, environmental services, habitats, heritage & archaeology, landscape architecture, and water services. Ecus bring 154 members of staff to the wider group, including recent acquisition, Northern Archaeological Associates.

EMS provides environmental consultancy services and monitoring solutions to help clients meet and maintain environmental compliance, improve efficiency and manage environmental impact. Since being invested in by a regional VC in 2010, it has grown its staff count from seven to 50.

Envirocare offers stack emissions testing and occupational hygiene consultancy. With 35 members of staff, it is a leading UKAS and MCERTS accredited consultancy operating throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Collectively, the group employs almost 240 people, with this number expected to increase to 300 by the end of 2022 amid strong organic growth with combined revenues of around £18m.

As part of the new group the three businesses will benefit from a range of shared central services such as HR, marketing and finance. Each will maintain its area of speciality, whilst benefitting from our pioneering ESG framework, unique expertise in returns-focused impact investing, and our highly successful track record in buy-and-build, which has included completing more than 200 acquisitions to date.

In a fragmented marketplace for environmental services, CEO Prof Peter Skipworth sees a significant opportunity to build a leading nationwide environmental services and consultancy business.

He said: “Our mission at Cura Terrae is to take care of the earth. We believe that businesses have an obligation to solve the climate crisis and Cura Terrae will help them meet and maintain environmental standards across land, air and water.

“At Cura Terrae, we see our work as a vocational career, with a shared mission to protect the environment. This alignment with Palatine’s Impact Fund, their sector focus and their buy-and-build track record is what attracted us to them and it’s why I am very excited to grow the business in partnership with them.”

Piers Clark, the respected water sector professional, will become non-executive Chair of Cura Terrae.

Palatine Impact Fund Partner James Gregson, who led the investment with Investment Manager Greg Holmes, will also be joining the board, along with Finance Director Sara Blannin.

Ecus, EMS and Envirocare and their shareholders were advised by Claire Davis and team at Lava Advisory Partners (Corporate Finance), Andy Francey and Megan Atack at Freeths (Legal) and Craig Hughes at Brown Butler (Tax).

Palatine was advised by David Mkhitarian, James Down and Graeme Anderson at Hill Dickinson (Legal), Nicola Merritt and James Milton at Cortus Advisory (FDD), Peter Cookson at Armstrong (CDD) and Colin Smyth, Martin Cooper and Jake Hodgson at RSM (Tax).

Cura Terrae is an outstanding purpose-led business and a trusted partner of many industry-leading companies across the UK. We have known the business for a number of years and are delighted to be working with Pete and the team to support the strategy for growth.

Cura Terrae’s mission-driven approach is one that aligns perfectly with Palatine’s Impact Fund and the long-term commitment to place purpose, sustainability and responsible investment at the heart of our strategy.

We see a significant growth opportunity in Cura Terrae and are delighted to be supporting Pete and the team as the group expands both organically and through further strategic and value-enhancing acquisitions.

James Gregson

Partner at Palatine