(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group Inc. is buying a majority stake in sustainability consultancy Anthesis as the buyout firm seeks to take advantage of rising demand for specialist advice on environmental issues.   

The transaction values the London-based consultancy, whose clients include Unilever Plc and Cisco Systems Inc., at about £400 million ($508 million), people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. Existing shareholder Palatine Private Equity will retain a minority stake along with some Anthesis employees, according to a statement on Friday. 

Carlyle is buying the stake through its Carlyle Europe Partners platform, according to the statement, which didn’t disclose financial terms.

“Anthesis stood out as a company which met our investment criteria in the sector,” Mark Dale, managing director on the Carlyle Europe Partners investment team, said in an interview. “Our goal will be to further amplify the expansion and growth plans” of the firm.

Founded by Chief Executive Officer Stuart McLachlan in 2013, Anthesis advises companies and governments on matters ranging from achieving net zero targets to food waste and climate risks, according to its website. It employs about 1,250 people across 39 offices in 22 countries and caters to more than 4,000 clients, it said in the statement. The company has completed 18 add-on acquisitions since its inception.

Carlyle’s investment portfolio of more than 250 companies globally can benefit from Anthesis’ offerings, said Meg Starr, global head of impact at the Washington, DC-based buyout giant.

“A number of our portfolio companies are already clients of the company and we expect to leverage their expertise across the firm more widely,” Starr said in an interview.

Companies have increasingly come under pressure from investors to pay more attention to sustainability issues, leading to strong interest for specialist consultancies among both private equity and strategic buyers. WSP Global Inc. bought the built-environment consulting business of John Wood Group Plc last year for $1.8 billion, while KKR & Co. agreed to buy sustainability consultancy ERM Group Inc. in 2021 for about $2.7 billion, including debt. 

(Updates to add details of acquisitions in fifth paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the currency in the headline and second paragraph.)

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