Stirling Square sells Cartonplast to DBAG

Stirling Square sells Cartonplast to DBAG

Stirling Square Capital Partners (Stirling Square), a pan-European private equity firm, is to sell CPL Holdings (Cartonplast), an operator of sustainable pools of returnable transport packaging materials (RTP), to German private equity investor Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) and the DBAG-advised DBAG Fund VII.

Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Interview with Jens Wrabel, Partner at ERM GmbH

Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?

ERM has performed an Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Due Diligence Assessment of the Cartonplast Group. ERM’s services informed and enhanced the deal by ensuring that ESG issues and opportunities are accurately disclosed and anticipated.

The assessment was completed through questionnaires, selected site visits and management interviews. The report provides a summary of the company’s performance with regards to environmental matters, occupational health and safety management, labour and working conditions and sustainability considerations.

ERM has confirmed its unrivalled track record in supporting time-sensitive, multi-location due diligence efforts.

Due to the transparent disclosure of the company’s ESG status, Cartonplast has benefited from a more competitive and accelerated sale process that maximised their return.

Why is this a good deal for all involved?

ERM was already involved when Stirling acquired the business, so it was interesting to see the (positive) development of the company in the fields of ESG/ sustainability.

What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?

The Company has a global footprint with 17 sites in 9 countries, which very much mirrored ERM’s footprint. Cartonplast was very supportive to provide required information in a timely manner, which helped in particular during the Q&A process.

It was becoming evident during the Q&A process that investors are increasingly seeking proof of robust ESG management as part of their due diligence. Collating, presenting, and understanding this evidence, can be complex and time-consuming.

However, ERM provided the potential buyers with transparency around known and potential current, contingent, and future ESG exposures.

How is the M&A sphere looking in Germany in this quarter?

We have seen a very strong M&A market during this summer, with some very interesting large cap deals.

How does this compare to last year? Do you expect to see more deals of this kind?

According to our records activity in the market was 50% higher compare to last year.



ERM is the world’s largest sustainability consultancy with a 40-year operating history. The company has over 160 offices in 45 countries and territories employing more than 5,200 people. This extensive international experience and global network of offices enables ERM to provide both international expertise and an understanding of local regulations, sensitivities and concerns. ERM has won numerous sustainability industry awards and is the leading provider of Environmental, Health & Safety and ESG Due Diligence in Europe and globally.

Dr. Jens Wrabel, ERM Partner-in-Charge.

Dr. Jens Wrabel is a Partner within ERM’s M&A Team based in Munich, Germany. He has more than 26 years’ professional experience in the environmental & sustainability field. His projects have included all phases of due diligence including regulatory EHS compliance, liability evaluations, subsurface investigations and remedial action on individual sites, as well as portfolios of over 50 properties. As ERM ESG lead for Central Europe, Jens has extensive experience supporting clients to identify and manage ESG aspects at key investment stages.

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