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Sustainability Consulting M&A: Morgan Stanley Acquires Apex Companies

February 1, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (MSCP), the private equity arm of Morgan Stanley, has acquired Apex Companies, provider of end-to-end environmental consulting and engineering solutions. The seller was Sentinel Capital Partners. Sentinel will maintain a minority stake in Apex. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Related: See all M&A deals involving ESG and sustainability consulting firms here.

Apex, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, was founded in 1988. The company had more than 1,100 employees as of February 2023. Apex CEO Dave Fabianski will continue to lead the business under MSCP's majority ownership.

Apex positions itself as an environmental consulting and engineering firm that supports customers across such sectors as energy, industrial, manufacturing, real estate, retail, and telecom. Key services span water infrastructure and resources, compliance and assurance (including ESG consulting), health and safety, transportation, and civil engineering.

MSCP experience in the environmental services sector. The private equity firm previously acquired Alliance Technical Group in 2021.

Eric Kanter, managing director and head of industrials, MSCP

In a prepared statement about the Apex acquisition, Eric Kanter, managing director and head of industrials at MSCP, said: “Apex’s solutions serve clients and communities across a broad range of environmental and infrastructure needs, and seek to ensure that corporations, government agencies and municipalities achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. In addition to being a highly respected provider of environmental services, Apex is also a leader in the attractive and high-growth stormwater compliance industry. We believe the company’s record of expansion, both organically and through accretive M&A, has generated substantial momentum for continued growth. We are excited to partner with Dave and the Apex leadership team to drive continued success in Apex’s core service offerings and to pursue strategic M&A that adds additional geographic presence, service capabilities and customer diversity.”

Dave Fabianski, president and CEO, Apex

Added Dave Fabianski, president and CEO of Apex: “Partnering with MSCP provides us with a tremendous opportunity to access additional capabilities and resources that we believe will help us further enhance our value proposition and service offering. Together with MSCP we will accelerate our strategic growth pursuits in water, environmental, infrastructure, and ESG, while expanding our investment in Apex’s people, culture, and digital strategies. The outlook in our industry has never been better, and we are excited to partner with the MSCP team for our next chapter of growth.”

How Apex Scaled Through M&A

Sentinel had owned Apex since November 2018. Four tuck-in acquisitions since that time included:

  • Health Safety and Environmental Consulting Business of Bureau Veritas;
  • CME Engineering LP and CME Operations LP;
  • Environmental Partners, a regional leader of engineering services across New England; and
  • Retention Pond Services, a regional leader in stormwater compliance, maintenance and repair services in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest.
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