Charterhouse to Sell Consultant to Ontario for $1.7 Billion

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Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP agreed to sell Environmental Resources Management, a consulting firm, to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System for $1.7 billion.

ERM employs more than 4,800 people and has worked for companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Tesco Plc and Unilever NV, Charterhouse said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The Alberta Investment Management Corp., which invests on behalf of pension, endowment and government funds in the province of Alberta, will put money into the deal alongside OMERS, according to a statement on ERM’s website.

Canada’s cash-rich pension funds have been increasing their allocations to private investments to diversify away from low expected returns in stocks and bonds. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed last week to buy a lending business from General Electric Co for $12 billion in its largest acquisition to date.

Besides the Ontario system’s buyout fund, OMERS Private Equity, and Alberta, senior managers and partners of ERM also will invest in the deal, ERM said.

Charterhouse, a private-equity firm based in London, first invested in ERM in 2011, buying a stake of about 55 percent in a deal that valued the firm at $950 million. The sale of ERM follows other exits such as the IPOs of Card Factory, Elior and Saga Group and the sale of Deb Group, Charterhouse said.

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