Multi-billion agri firm buys Gloucestershire business

A firm of environmental experts from the Cotswolds that advises developers on major projects has been bought by a multi-billion agri business, which plans to invest in its future.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Keystone Environmental is an expert in looking after both the interests of developers and the likes of the great crested newt, a species protected by law.

A multi-billion agri-group business has snapped up a Gloucestershire firm which specialises in the habitats of creatures including great crested newts as well as badgers and dormice.

Tetbury-headquartered Keystone Environmental will become part of Origin Enterprises, a flourishing firm which for the year ending July 31 2022, saw turnover hit 2.3 billion euros and profits soar above 119 euros.

The Dublin-based agronomy giant paid an undisclosed sum for the environmental experts, with two Gloucestershire firms helping make the deal possible.

The corporate team at BPE solicitors oversaw the legal elements of the share sale, including the due diligence and transaction documents, while Hazlewoods’ accountants and business advisors advised on the financial and taxation elements of the deal.

Adam Kean, dorporate partner at BPE, and Paul Fussell, Hazlewoods corporate finance partner, worked closely with Keystone to ensure a seamless approach to the sale. 

Origin’s chief executive officer, Sean Coyle, said: 'Keystone is an excellent fit for Origin to develop our ecology services for our existing customers as well as its strong client base. Investment in this sector is a key priority for the group. We look forward to working together.'

According to the Irish operation, Keystone's investment in research and development makes it well-placed to support its new owner’s growth in sustainable agriculture and innovative food production. 

Founded in 2002, Keystone's expertise ranges from advising on the habitat of species that could be impacted by developments to carrying out ecology surveys, geographic information system mapping, ecological impact assessments and ecological mitigation.

Protected creatures include water voles, white clawed crayfish, dormice and great crested newts as well as certain plants.

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