Major deals profiled include Bain Capital’s acquisition of Kantar, Tech Mahindra’s acquisition of Mad*Pow and PA Consulting’s purchase of 4iNNO.
Equiteq advised WGroup on its sale to Wavestone and RevUnit on its investment from Mountaingate Capital.
The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index dipped slightly over the month.
WPP sells research and analytics business Kantar to Bain Capital.
a UK-headquartered research, data and insights business that was owned by global
marketing network WPP.
Bain Capital is a US-headquartered multi-asset alternative
(1.5x TTM Dec-2018 revenue)
Deal insight: In June, The Drum reported that WPP was in the process of selling Kantar. It was noted that Vista Equity Partners, Apollo, Platinum, as well as Bain, were four US private equity’s bidding for the research unit. The private equity focused process exemplifies a broader trend of strong demand for major knowledge-intensive services businesses from cash-rich financial buyers that are supported by robust fresh fundraisings. Kantar’s investment from Bain Capital follows the financial buyer’s acquisition of digital consulting firm Brillio in January.
WPP is undertaking a crucial transformation of its business
following the resignation of Sir Martin Sorrell last year and Mark Read’s appointment
as the marketing network’s new CEO. WPP recently sold its stake in Globant to
pay down debt and announced internal mergers of agencies to create a more
comprehensive digital-focused offerings for its clients. This is part of a
three-year plan of “radical evolution” that was outlined by Read to improve WPP’s
business performance. This is aimed at better positioning WPP for growth by countering
new competition from innovative non-traditional media competitors from the
consulting and technology sectors.
We have released a summary of
our detailed review of digital agencies M&A and investment trends.
Equiteq is pleased to present the results of our review of M&A and equity market trends across the digital agency space. Digital agency M&A activity was strong in the first of half 2019 (H1 2019) as cash-rich buyers continued to acquire new capabilities in a tight talent market. Deal activity has been strong over the last five years as buyers continue to build new capabilities via M&A. In H1 2019, deal activity was broadly in line with H1 2018. M&A is concentrated on North America and Europe with a growing market emerging in the Asia Pacific.
M&A Deal Volumes FY 2010 to H1 2019
Note: Dotted line indicates deals in first half of the respective year. Source: Equiteq Market Intelligence, S&P Capital IQ
There is considerable activity from non-traditional media agency buyers from the consulting and technology sector. This is putting pressure on the “Big Six” media networks – Dentsu, Havas, Interpublic Group (IPG), Omnicom, Publicis and WPP. These major marketing networks have also experienced declines in their share price over the past couple of years, driving reorganizations and new M&A.
• Major deals profiled include Capgemini’s acquisition of Altran, Tieto’s acquisition of EVRY and CVC’s acquisition of Teneo. • The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index rose over the month.
Capgemini and Altran create a global digital transformation leader with strong ER&D capabilities.
Target: Altran is a France-headquartered provider of engineering and R&D services.
Buyer: Capgemini is a France-headquartered global provider of consulting, IT services and digital transformation.
Deal value: €3.6bn (1.2x TTM Dec-2018 revenue)
Deal insight: The purchase of Altran will enable Capgemini to take a leading position as a service provider focused on engineering, research and development (ER&D) as part of the digital transformation of industrial and tech companies. The acquisition is a milestone transaction for Capgemini that builds on previous deal flow in areas like digital media, cyber security and financial services consulting. This includes the purchase last year of digital consulting firm LiquidHub, which was acquired for €400m from ChrysCapital. The buyer followed this acquisition with the launch of Capgemini Invent, which combined Capgemini Consulting and expertise in technology and data science. The new brand comprised LiquidHub, innovation consulting firm Fahrenheit 212, as well as creative design agencies Idean, Adaptive Lab and Backelite. The acquisition of Altran, along with these recent acquisitions and restructurings, better positions Capgemini against growing digital transformation competitors like Accenture, Cognizant and the Indian IT services players.
Major deals profiled include Orange’s acquisition of SecureLink, Perficient’s acquisition of Sundog Interactive and Tetra Tech’s purchase of WYG.
The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index dipped slightly over the month.
Orange deepens its
cybersecurity capabilities in Europe.
Target: SecureLink is a
Netherlands-headquartered provider of security consulting, security maintenance
and support, as well as advanced managed detection and response capabilities.
Buyer: Orange is a
France-headquartered provider of a range of telecommunications, data transmission
and related services.
Enterprise value: €515m (2.1x FY 2018 revenue)
Deal insight: Orange accelerates its growth in the European cybersecurity market with its acquisition of SecureLink, one of the largest independent services players in the region. Demand for cybersecurity solutions is growing as technology plays a greater role in critical business functions across industries. According to data from ResearchAndMarkets.com, Europe’s cybersecurity market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.3% and will be worth $47.2bn by 2023.
The purchase of SecureLink follows Orange’s acquisition of UK-based cybersecurity specialist SecureData, which was purchased at the beginning of the year. These deals, along with the acquisition of Business & Decision, form part of Orange’s strategy to become a global player in digital transformation and data services.
We have released a summary of our detailed review of cybersecurity M&A and investment trends for owners of technology and consulting businesses.
demand for deal flow from cash-rich strategic buyers and private equity
raised for investments was well above long-term averages;
Cybersecurity Share Price Index rose c.44% over a two-year period, while the
NASDAQ rose by 26%; and
M&A deals included Blackberry’s completed $1.4bn purchase of Cylance, as
well as CACI’s acquisition of LGS Innovations and Mastodon Design for $750m and
The global cybersecurity market
is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years. Accelerating digital
transformation of businesses across industries has opened new vulnerabilities
with the continued shift to new cloud-based systems, as well as the rising
adoption of mobile devices, social media platforms and advanced data analytics
tools. Some new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning
and behavioral analytics are also being considered to protect against, identify
and block cyber-attacks. However, the overall risk of cyber-threats is expected
to rise with the proliferation of data.
deals profiled include
Accenture’s acquisition of Droga5, S4
Capital’s acquisition of Caramel Pictures and ProgMedia, and Publicis’ purchase of Epsilon.
The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price
Index rose with broader
equity market indices over the month.
Accenture’s purchase of Droga5
exemplifies the rapid transformation of the digital media competitive landscape
Target: Droga5 is a
US-headquartered advertising agency with over 500 employees that has worked
with a variety of blue-chip clients including Amazon and The New York Times.
Buyer: Accenture is an
Ireland-headquartered global technology services firm.
Deal insight: Droga5 is the largest agency acquisition that Accenture has made to date. The deal further entrenches Accenture Interactive as a major player in the digital media space, putting pressure on the “Big Six” traditional media networks – WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Havas, IPG and Dentsu. It will also put pressure on acquisitive growing consulting and technology firms that have already entered the space, including Capgemini, Cognizant and Deloitte Digital.
The deal forms part of another active year of deal flow for Accenture. Last year, Accenture Interactive was named the largest digital network worldwide by Advertising Age in its annual agency report for the third year running. Accenture Interactive’s major deals through 2018 included Adaptly in the US, Mackevision in Germany, Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) in the US, HO Communication in China and Altima in France.
Industry deals profiled include CGI’s offer to acquire Acando, Accenture’s purchase of Enterprise System Partners and Version 1’s acquisition of TE4B.
The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index was broadly flat over the month.
CGI makes recommended offer to
acquire Acando to strengthen its capabilities in Northern Europe.
Target: Acando is an IT and
management consulting business headquartered in Sweden.
Buyer: CGI Group is a
Canada-headquartered IT services and business consulting firm.
Deal size: $459m (1.5x TTM revenue)
Deal insight:CGI is a global technology services player with a strong model of organic growth and M&A. The buyer has made numerous acquisitions over recent years that have expanded its global consulting and technology capabilities. Its most recent offer to acquire Acando will deepen its presence in Northern Europe adding over 2,100 professionals across the region. The purchase will expand the buyer’s strategic consulting, system integration and digital innovation capabilities. The deal builds on CGI’s €98m acquisition of Affecto in 2017. Affecto is a data analytics business headquartered in Finland.
Industry deals profiled include Orange’s
acquisition of SecureData, Point B’s acquisition of Independence Consulting and
Blackstone’s investment in Lionpoint Group.
Knowledge Economy Share Price Index experienced rises
over the month.
Orange broadens its cyber security capabilities in the UK with its
acquisition of SecureData
Target: SecureData is the largest
independent cyber security provider in the UK with additional operations in
Buyer: Orange is a France-headquartered provider of
a range of telecommunications, data transmission and related services.
Deal insight: Demand for cybersecurity solutions is growing as technology plays a greater role in critical business functions across industries. According to data from ResearchAndMarkets.com, Europe’s cybersecurity market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.3% and will be worth $47.2bn by 2023.
Orange acquires strong capabilities in this growing industry, particularly within cyber-criminality, security research and penetration testing. The acquisition extends Orange Cyberdefense’s existing operations in France and Belgium into the UK and South Africa. The acquisition follows Orange Business Services’ purchase of data and digital services specialist Business & Decision. These deals form part of the buyer’s strategy to become a global player in digital transformation and a leader across data services.
The following summarizes our five key predictions for business owners in 2019 as discussed in our recently released Knowledge Economy Outlook paper.
1. Economic and political uncertainties will create opportunities for agile consulting companies to develop solutions that can help mitigate the current business risks facing their clients.
In 2018, the Equiteq Knowledge
Economy Share Price Index posted its biggest decline since 2008. This mirrored
weak performance across broader market indices. After a highly volatile end to
the year, we commence 2019 with increased equity market uncertainty led by a
range of political and economic risks. Against this backdrop, consulting
business owners will need to be aware of the opportunities to position their
organizations appropriately in 2019.