Implementing Sustainability Solutions



Apex Companies, LLC

Business Services; Environmental Services


Implementing Sustainability Solutions

Company: Apex Companies, LLC

Position: Business Services; Environmental Services

Location: Rockville, MD

Date of Investment: November 2018

Exit Date: January 2023

Company Description
Apex is a leading environmental services firm specializing in water resources, land restoration, and industrial hygiene. Founded in 1988, Apex performs a comprehensive suite of services to assess, prevent, and remediate environmental issues in water, soil, air, and facilities. Apex’s clients can be found in a broad range of public-sector and private-sector end markets, including energy, industrial, manufacturing, real estate, retail, and telecom. From 50 offices nationwide, Apex services the entire environmental compliance and risk continuum through more than 1,000 geologists, hydrogeologists, engineers, air quality specialists, environmental scientists, information management experts, industrial hygienists, and field technicians.

Apex supports its clients’ environmental and sustainability efforts. In Apex’s massive, fragmented market, environmental regulations drive significant demand because noncompliance can lead to expensive fines and remediation costs, operational delays, shutdowns, and reputational harm. As a result, when it comes to ESG services, Apex’s clients typically prioritize high domain expertise, excellent quality, and proven reliability over price.

The Opportunity
A complex and evolving regulatory landscape, together with an intensified corporate spotlight on climate change and social impacts, are spurring demand for environmental consulting services and expert third-party guidance in data verification and assurance. These market conditions presented an opportunity for Apex to leverage its differentiated platform to address emerging needs in ESG.

Accelerated Growth in Apex’s Water Practice: As the leading provider of stormwater compliance, consulting, repair, and storm response, Apex helps clients comply with environmental regulations and fulfill their commitment to environmental stewardship. Under Sentinel’s ownership, Apex more than doubled its water revenue; broadened its national stormwater platform through organic growth and acquisition; and developed planning, engineering, and design competencies for water infrastructure.

Executed Strategic M&A: Sentinel helped Apex complete four highly strategic acquisitions that diversified its service offering, enhanced its ESG capabilities, and significantly expanded its talent and engineering capabilities.

Added Dedicated ESG Resources and Leadership Depth: Key management additions in engineering, infrastructure, and ESG bolstered Apex’s capabilities, brand, and visibility in the midmarket. In 2021, Apex created a new position when it hired an executive director to oversee ESG consulting services and Apex’s own sustainability initiatives. The ESG team also helped design and implement Sentinel’s ESG policy.

Apex performed well during our ownership. It built out a distinct ESG offering and made significant investments to position the business for further growth. In January 2023, after four years of ownership, we achieved our investment objectives and sold Apex to another private equity firm in a highly successful management buyout transaction.

Case studies have been selected for illustrative purposes for management teams of midmarket companies considering a partnership with Sentinel and should not be considered an offer or solicitation of services or an actual or implied endorsement of Sentinel or any security, investment, or portfolio company. The portfolio companies highlighted are not representative of all current and prior investments of Sentinel. A list and description of investments since Sentinel's inception is available on this website.