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A new alliance in the ecological engineering market

ingénierie écologique

In early September, Biotope, a French company specialising in environmental and ecological engineering, announced that it was acquiring stakes in the German consultancy BioConsult SH and the British company HiDef Aerial Surveying. These two deals will enable the Hérault-based company to further consolidate its pan-European position. Here’s an update from the experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

The three companies have been collaborating actively together for seven years, combining their complementary activities. With Biotope’s acquisition of a 27% stake in BioConsult SH and HiDef Aerial Surveying, the three environmental engineering companies will now be working together. The new group employs a total of 800 people in Europe and is expected to generate a total turnover of €80 million. France’s Biotope will play a key role in the new organisation. The Hérault-based company alone employs 350 people, with a further 175 working for one of its overseas and international subsidiaries. By 2022, Biotope’s revenue is expected to reach €40 million, a 36% increase on the previous year.

A 360° expertise

Founded in 1993, Biotope has developed a number of different business lines: support for regional development projects, monitoring of the regulatory aspects and ecological compensation of development projects, assistance with public policies for nature management and conservation, strategic consultancy for the executive committees of companies and local authorities, scientific publishing and environmental communication. With the acquisition of German company BioConsult SH and British company HiDef Aerial Surveying, Biotope is broadening its area of expertise. Across the Rhine, BioConsult SH is now a leader in ecological consultancy and research, while the HiDef Aerial Surveying group specialises in aerial surveys of marine fauna.

Strong growth in demand

“The demand for environmental studies covering technical, legal, and economic issues is growing all the time,” explains Frédéric Melki, co-founder of Biotope, to the daily Les Echos. The merger will make the new group particularly powerful by combining skills and technologies, in particular for the study of birds and marine mammals as part of the monitoring of the impact of offshore wind farms. Biotope’s presence in English-speaking countries will be facilitated, particularly in the United States and Australia, while BioConsult SH and HiDef Aerial Surveying will benefit from projects carried out by Biotope’s international subsidiaries.

A trend towards convergence

In a macroeconomic environment characterised by a sharp increase in risks (sanitary, geopolitical), the OECD urges a reduction in demand and diversification of energy supplies to avoid shortages. At the same time, governments are calling for energy conservation. Against this backdrop, there is a growing demand for environmental studies and support for development projects. Companies specialising in ecological engineering are benefiting from this growth, but only if they have the resources to respond to large-scale projects. The alliance between Biotope, BioConsult SH, and HiDef Aerial Surveying is a step in this direction. In the future, the pan-European group intends to expand its expertise even further. The next step could be the acquisition of a company specialising in artificial intelligence for the more sophisticated collection of large-scale ecological data.

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#Engineering & New Technologies