Sphera’s Acquisition of thinkstep Gives It The Largest Market Share For Product Stewardship

On Tuesday July 30th 2019, Sphera announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Germany-headquartered thinkstep, a software and consulting services vendor with deep expertise in product stewardship and corporate sustainability information management. This acquisition follows closely on the heels of Sphera’s purchase of SiteHawk, a Nashville-based vendor specialized in safety data sheet authoring tools, chemicals content and inventory services. The terms of the thinkstep deal were not disclosed and closure of the deal is pending on German regulatory approvals for mergers and acquisitions.

With a 30 year track record, 20 offices globally and more than 250 employees, thinkstep has an established market position for both product sustainability and corporate sustainability information management. thinkstep’s software solutions include GaBi for product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis and SoFi for firm-wide sustainability performance management. In addition to software, thinkstep provides its customers with integrated access to more than 12,500 datasets for LCA footprint analysis and benchmarking. Other solutions include materials management, product parts and end-of-life compliance, building portfolio management, as well as consulting services such as related to LCA analysis, SoFi implementation, materiality assessments, and sustainability strategy development. Sphera now has the largest market share in the product stewardship market – including product sustainability. Strategic benefits for Sphera include: an extensive expansion of Sphera’s proprietary content services with LCA and eco-profile databases; more than 200 employees in the European Union; a strategic partnership with the Siemens PLM business; and further diversification out of process industries into discrete manufacturing.

For thinkstep customers, the acquisition will likely be good news as Sphera has the technology team who can enhance the portfolio of thinkstep products. The SoFi sustainability management software fits perfectly into the SpheraCloud product strategy providing for a smooth transition. Sphera also has broad experience developing a technology stack to manage huge product stewardship data sets which will enhance the user experience for GaBi customers. The CEO of thinkstep, Jan Poulsen, successfully orchestrated the sale process in the context of a consolidating market driven by deep private equity investment. Providing a successful exit for external investors Gimv and Next47, as well as dozens of founders and employees was a truly impressive achievement.  

To learn more about the evolving capabilities offered by software vendors for EHS and sustainability data management, apply to attend our Verdantix webinar ‘Maximizing Organizational Value By Connecting EHS & Sustainability Disclosures’, taking place on Wednesday, August 21 at 4:00pm BST / 11:00am EST.

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