Cornerstone looking at add-on pair for Ecowipes

Eurazeo goes for 2BSI.

Environmentally friendly hygiene is our opening topic this morning as Irien Joseph speaks to Cornerstone Investment Management partner Tomasz Pietrzak about the firm being in due diligence for a pair of add-ons for Ecowipes.

We don’t stray far from environmental issues with our next topic. Eurazeo has announced an investment into 2BSI, a materials and energy recovery operator.

We’ll finish with some sustainability focused software, with Ambienta’s platform company Namirial acquiring Unimatica, a digital transactions provider.

Green and clean

As a skincare enthusiast, I remember switching from single use facial wipes to reusable alternatives once I learned about the latter’s impact on the environment. While I’ve done no market research on the topic, I’ve definitely noted an increase in more ecological and biodegradable options in the past few years. This morning I got to learn more about the segment, as my colleague Irien Joseph interviewed Cornerstone Investment Management partner Tomasz Pietrzak about Ecowipes, a biodegradable wet wipe and personal hygiene product company.

Cornerstone and SME financer Kartesia jointly acquired Ecowipes in mid-July. The enterprise value was between €100 million and €200 million, said Pietrzak.

Cornerstone is conducting due diligence for a pair of add-ons for Ecowipes, according to Pietrzak. Those targets are in the Netherlands and Germany, which is in line with Cornerstone’s goal of growing the Ecowipes business across Europe.

Ecowipes is headquartered in Warsaw – also where Cornerstone is based – and has a French business, Hydra. While the company’s central European base gives it a cost edge, among other advantages, it lacked the ability to commercialise in the pan-European markets – which is where Cornerstone’s expertise comes in, Pietrzak told Irien.

The lack of consolidation in Ecowipes’ industry also offers growth avenues. “The barriers to entry are very high, but there is still room to find paths for expansion,” Pietrzak explained. “It’s the right place and moment to capitalise them and begin the next level of their growth and expansion.”

You can read Irien’s full story here, which touches on the debt structure and Ecowipes’ technology, a key element that drew Cornerstone to the company.

Waste recovery

Next up, we look at a different type of environment-linked investment. Eurazeo announced an investment in 2BSI via its Transition Infrastructure Fund.

Through the transaction, Eurazeo becomes the majority shareholder in 2BSI, alongside its historical investors, Garibaldi Participations and a pool of investors from the Caisse d’Epargne group and the management team.

2BSI is a materials and energy recovery operator that works in the recovery of concrete poles and sleepers, class C hazardous wood, manufacturing of composite poles and recovery of bio-waste.

Eurazeo will support 2BSI by exploring alternative transport and logistics options as well as sourcing bio-sourced resin and creating decarbonised production methods, according to a press release. Eurazeo’s investment will also support the company’s development organically and through targeted acquisitions, the release said.

Waste management and the circular economy have been popular investment options this year. In August, I spoke to Ardian’s senior managing director and head of infrastructure for Germany, Benelux and Northern Europe, Daniel von der Schulenburg, about the firm’s acquisition of waste management and circular economy platform Attero. Irien Joseph has also rounded up deals from the sector. You can read that story here.

Digital sustainability

Switching over to software but sticking with sustainability. Ambienta announced that its platform company Namirial has partnered with RGI to integrate Namirial’s Digital Trust Services into the group. As part of the partnership, Namirial has acquired Unimatica.

Headquartered in Bologna, Unimatica provides software and services that enable digital transactions, serving public authorities and customers in regulated industries, such as banking and insurance.

Unimatica is the fifth acquisition by Ambienta and Namirial as part of a consolidation strategy in digital trust software and services. Ambienta first acquired Namirial in May 2020, having noted the digitalisation megatrend in reducing the need for paper documentation and travel needs, and its corresponding positive impact on the environment, according to a press release.

“The partnership with RGI and the acquisition of Unimatica are further proof of Ambienta’s capabilities and focus in supporting its platforms with value-accretive acquisitions,” said Giancarlo Beraudo, private equity partner at Ambienta. “Our ambition remains to position Namirial as a global leader in digital transaction management and digital trust services, a goal that we continue to pursue both organically and via M&A.”

Ambienta is a European environmental sustainability investor based in Milan. The firm manages over €3 billion in assets.