Digitally-enabled assurance services provider LRQA announced today the acquisition of Hong Kong-based supply chain sustainability and risk management services solutions provider ELEVATE from private equity investor EQT. According to the companies, the business combination aims to meet the fast-growing need for transparency and assurance around ESG standards.

Paul Butcher, Chief Executive of LRQA, said:

“The risk landscape is changing so fast and our clients need a partner that can help them adapt, particularly in ESG. This agreement is a major signal of our determination to meet that need. We are bringing together two highly successful businesses to create something very special in the ESG field – grounded in true expertise, operating at global scale and driven by a shared belief in data to drive change. Businesses are having to rapidly re-think their approach to ESG and I believe this deal will transform the way in which we can help our clients to respond.”

ELEVATE provides supply chain sustainability solutions, enabling customers to monitor and assess supply chain risk, develop mitigation plans, build supplier capacity, and improve supply chain social, environmental and business performance. The company was formed in 2013 through the merger of the companies Level Works and INFACT Global Partners, and EQT acquired a majority stake in the business in 2016, with the founders and management retaining significant stakes in the Company. Over the past few years, the company designed and implemented an end-to-end ESG service ecosystem encompassing on-the-ground assessment, advisory, program management and analytics.

ELEVATE CEO Ian Spaulding said:

“Working with LRQA supports our progressive, data-driven vision about the critical role of ESG in supply chains. It extends our ESG service ecosystem, connects our world-class solutions in the “S” domain with LRQA’s “E” expertise, and expands our global reach and sector coverage.”

LRQA, formerly the business assurance and cybersecurity unit of Lloyd’s Register, was acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2021. The company offers assurance services aimed at enabling companies to navigate and manage risk, including environmental conformity assessments. According to LRQA, the transaction will enable the combined company to offer an expanded range of data-driven insight, advisory services, analytics and best practice for sustainable supply chain assurance.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Michael Bruun, Jose Barreto, and Mihir Lal, added:

“We are very excited by the combination of LRQA and ELEVATE, two highly complementary businesses with leading reputations in the assurance market for service quality, customer focus and thought leadership. The acquisition of ELEVATE enhances the breadth and depth of LRQA’s existing ESG, digital and supply chain quality assurance capabilities, and enables LRQA to better support clients to manage their sustainable growth paths in a changing risk environment. We are delighted to welcome the ELEVATE team, led by Ian Spaulding, to the LRQA family and are excited by the important role the ELEVATE business will play in accelerating LRQA’s growth trajectory in the increasingly important ESG assurance sector.”