Industrial decarbonization-focused private equity firm acquires fully integrated industrial asset operator
STOCKTON, United Kingdom and HOUSTON, April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ara Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in industrial decarbonization investments, today announced that it has partnered with management and Aksiom Group, to acquire px Group (“px” or the “Company”).
Based in Stockton, UK, px Group is an integrated infrastructure solutions provider. The Company manages complex energy and industrial assets, and offers complementary services across energy management, engineering and consultancy. Additionally, the Company owns the Saltend Chemicals Park (“Saltend”), a 370-acre industrial center in the UK’s Humber Region. Saltend is home to several world-class chemicals and renewable energy businesses, is a partner in Equinor’s flagship hydrogen project, H2H Saltend, and will host Pensana’s materials processing facility producing key elements for the renewables sector. px Group is led by Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Holmes, and Chairman, Chris Picotte.
For each of its customers, px Group brings to bear a highly skilled workforce and over two decades of experience operating complex energy infrastructure. Such experience is a foundational toolset that is directly transferable to managing energy transition assets like carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) and hydrogen, both of which are expected to play a meaningful role in the UK’s path to decarbonization. Unlike other renewable energy sources, CCS and hydrogen are complex industrial assets with operations more akin to energy facilities such as natural gas processing and power and biomass CHP, where px has a long and successful operational track record. The Company is actively supporting three of the UK’s most notable energy transition projects in development – Scotland’s Acorn, Net Zero Teesside and Equinor’s H2H Saltend – and operates surrounding infrastructure in each of these territories today.
“px has established itself as a premier industrial operator and we are thrilled to be partnering with management, as well as the Aksiom team, as they further the UK’s development of essential energy transition infrastructure,” said Charles Cherington, Managing Partner at Ara Partners. “With a portfolio of companies developing low carbon industrial assets across the globe, Ara well understands the critical role an experienced operator, project manager and engineer like px Group plays in systematic project development and operational performance.”
“For over 25 years, px has delivered best-in-class operations and engineering support to its valued customers,” said Geoff Holmes, px CEO. “These last several years have been a strong growth period for the Company, and we remain enthusiastic about the road ahead with the abundance of energy and industrials activity across the UK and EU. The px team sees a perfect fit between the Company’s strategic direction and Ara’s focus on industrial decarbonization. We are delighted to welcome Ara to the px family, and to be continuing our successful relationship with Aksiom.”
“The px – Aksiom relationship has been a true partnership,” said Chris Picotte, Aksiom Group Co-Founder and px Chairman. “In addition, Ara and Aksiom have a long working relationship, and we are encouraged that a firm such as Ara with a low carbon focus sees the tremendous opportunity in front of px. As the energy and industrials landscape continues to shift across the UK and EU, experienced operators like px will play a critical role in that transition.”
Ara Partners, management and Aksiom Group will work together to accelerate the Company’s growing portfolio of energy and industrial transition projects, expand its integrated energy service offerings and enter new markets in the UK and EU.
About Ara Partners
Ara Partners is a private equity firm specializing in industrial decarbonization investments. Ara Partners invests in the industrial & manufacturing, chemicals & materials, energy efficiency & green fuels and food & agriculture sectors, seeking to build businesses that are focused on sustainability and ESG principles. For more information on Ara Partners, please visit www.arapartners.com.
About px Group
Based in Stockton-on-Tees, UK, px Group (“px”) is a leading provider of comprehensive and integrated services encompassing operations and maintenance, engineering and energy management across the entire UK energy and industrial complex. The company has over 25 years’ experience operating and managing highly complex energy and industrial infrastructure assets, earning a strong reputation for bringing an “owner’s mindset” to the facilities that it operates.
px Group delivers exceptional operational, financial, and safety, health and environmental (SHE) performance, enabling the Company to develop deeply-rooted partnerships with its clients, demonstrated by the award and renewal of long-term contracts in sectors with high barriers to entry and change.
About Aksiom Group
The Aksiom Group, based in Dublin, identifies, acquires, and develops high-potential technical services companies and differentiated asset-based strategies across the European infrastructure sector. Aksiom’s founders, Christopher Picotte and Luis Pais Correia have been shareholders and the Chairman (since 2013) and a board director (since 2014), respectively, of px though several stages of its recent growth.
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