Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 25th August

businessman doing handstand on the beachNational Financial Partners Corp. (USA) acquired Benefit Resources, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: HR consulting Date: August 2014
National Financial Partners (NFP) has acquired US insurance consulting and brokerage firm Benefit Resources, for the expansion of its corporate client group business in the country. Established in 1988, Benefit Resources offers group benefits, HR and benefit compliance, benefit administration and individual insurance services. NFP expects the acquisition to expand its corporate client group in Midwest. NFP chairman and CEO Douglas Hammond said that Benefit Resources has deep expertise, which will continue the firm’s growth in employee benefits and corporate services. NFP corporate client group president Ed O’Malley said: “Benefit Resources brings over two decades of employee benefits and HR expertise to our team, further strengthening NFP’s ability to provide superior services to our business clients.” NFP offers advisory and brokerage services to companies and high net worth individuals through the benefits, property and casualty and life insurance and wealth management businesses. The company operates in three business segments, corporate client group, individual client group and advisor services.

Ernst & Young Global Limited (UK) agreed to acquire Net Balance Management Group Pty Ltd. (Australia)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: August 2014
Professional services firm, EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is set to acquire Net Balance, one of Australia’s largest sustainability consulting firms. Net Balance was founded in 2006 by Terence Jeyaretnam, who said the organisation was looking forward to joining EY. “The combined EY and Net Balance team will clearly be the largest sustainability service provider in Australia with deep technical expertise and experience. Joining our colleagues at EY is very exciting as it will present both our clients and our staff with significant opportunities especially as we look to expand into new markets and broaden the range of services, projects and initiatives we can offer,” Jeyaretnam said. “This acquisition will further strengthen EY’s ability to service our clients across all areas of sustainability and climate change, particularly social, supply chain, energy and sustainability advisory services,” EY Asia-Pacific Climate Change and Sustainability Leader Mathew Nelson said. Net Balance Management Group Pty Ltd. provides sustainability advice, assurance, and research services in Australia. Ernst & Young is a multinational professional services firm.

Smart Employee Benefits Inc. (Canada) to acquire Paradigm Consulting Group (Canada)
Deal Size: $15.7 million Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: August 2014
Smart Employee Benefits Inc. is a technology company providing, via a SaaS business model, “business processes software solutions and services” to corporate and government clients with specialty practices focused on “managing group benefit solutions and health claims processing environments.” SEB, through its wholly owned subsidiary SOMOS Consulting Group Ltd., is pleased to announce it has entered into a letter of agreement to acquire Paradigm Consulting Group Inc. and PCGI Consulting Services (collectively referred to as “Paradigm”). Paradigm is a strategic acquisition for SEB, bringing significant government and corporate client relationships along with technical skills and expertise, which allow SEB to compete more effectively in Western Canada, particularly in the areas of healthcare and benefits administration and adjudication. SEB has made significant progress in developing a presence in Western Canada and Paradigm consolidates SEB’s strength, providing local presence and delivery capability to service and manage important client relationships in this marketplace. The purchase price of Paradigm is up to $15,793,436, made up of firm consideration of $13,427,864 and additional consideration of up to $2,365,572 if certain performance targets are achieved.

The David Lewis Company, Inc. (USA) acquired Beacon Resources Inc. (Canada)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: HR Consulting Date: August 2014
Beacon Resources LLC in Newport Beach has been acquired by Woodland Hills-based professional services firm DLC. Beacon Resources focuses on executive search in financial positions and provides interim staffing and direct placement services. It has about 40 employees and ranked No. 8 on the Business Journal’s July list of the largest consulting firms here. It also was No. 32 on the most recent list of Orange County’s fastest-growing private companies, with a 250% revenue growth over two years. The firm had an estimated $7 million in 2013. Beacon Resources will continue to be headed by Chief Executive Mike Kelly. DLC has four offices in California aside from its headquarters, in Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. It also has offices in Chicago and Dallas. DLC’s recent financial details weren’t available. It was ranked among Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2007 based on its 2006 revenue of $40.6 million. Beacon Resources and DLC will have about 250 consultants together, and each will retain its brand under the DLC Group umbrella. The David Lewis Company, Inc. provides financial planning and accounting services to corporations and businesses.

Stantec Inc. (Canada) signed a letter of intent to acquire Penfield & Smith Engineers, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: August 2014
North American design firm Stantec will enhance its presence along California’s Central Coast by acquiring Santa Barbara- based Penfield & Smith. A 90-person civil engineering and land planning firm with local offices in Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Santa Maria, and Lancaster, Penfield & Smith has a sizeable roster of public and private sector clients. This transaction is expected to close in October. “California is an important market for our firm, and Penfield & Smith strengthens our community development presence in the state with talented practitioners that share our passion for serving clients through exceptional work,” said Bob Gomes, Stantec president and chief executive officer. “In addition to supporting our Central Coast capabilities, Penfield & Smith will also complement our operations in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.” Stantec Inc. provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects in Canada, the United States, and internationally. Penfield & Smith Engineers, Inc. offers civil engineering and land planning services.

Armanino McKenna LLP (USA) to acquire BERGER/LEWIS Accountancy Corporation (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: August 2014
Armanino LLP, the largest independent accounting and business consulting firm based in California with revenue of $125 million, announced that an agreement has been signed with Berger Lewis Accountancy Corporation, a $12 million firm, to merge effective January 1, 2015. The merger strengthens Armanino’s current reach throughout Silicon Valley by adding to its nonprofit and middle market tax practice and deepens its bench of expert advisors. Armanino will also have a new presence in the Santa Cruz-Monterey Bay community, bringing a set of solutions to help companies there adapt and change at every stage of their business both US and globally. “Joining a national industry leader like Armanino creates an opportunity to better serve our clients,” said Randy Peterson, Managing Partner of Berger Lewis. “Their expertise in technology solutions, M&A, IPO readiness and wealth management made the move a great fit for us. We look forward to collaborating and creating the best business solutions available to our clients.” Armanino McKenna LLP provides auditing and tax advisory services. BERGER/LEWIS Accountancy Corporation provides financial accounting and business consulting services.

Tata & Howard, Inc. (USA) acquired the assets of Roald Haestad, Inc (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: August 2014
Tata & Howard, Inc., a leading innovator in water, wastewater, stormwater, and hazardous waste engineering solutions, announced that it has acquired the assets of Roald Haestad, Inc. (RHI), a civil engineering consulting firm located in Waterbury, CT. Founded in 1971, RHI is a full service civil engineering firm providing services in water supply, stormwater, water distribution systems, and wastewater collection systems, with targeted expertise in safe yields and dam engineering. Throughout its 43-year history, RHI has built a solid reputation for providing superior design and engineering services along with exceptional client relations. Additional services include roadways, permitting, funding assistance, GIS, and surveying, including GPS, floodplain mapping, and bathymetric surveys. “Our acquisition of RHI complements our existing engineering consultant offerings by allowing us to provide additional civil engineering services, including dam engineering, surveying, and streamflow release analysis,” noted Donald J. Tata, P.E., co-founder and President of Tata & Howard, Inc. Tata & Howard, Inc. is a specialized water, wastewater, stormwater, and hazardous waste consulting engineering company.

GroupM (France) agreed to acquire Keyade SAS (France)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing Consulting Date: August 2014
WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management arm, has agreed to acquire Keyade, a leading digital search marketing agency in France. Founded in 2006 and employing around 75 people in Paris and Dubai, the agency specialises in performance-driven online media purchasing. Clients include La Redoute, Air France and Interflora. Keyade’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 March 2014 were EUR 7.0 million with gross assets of approximately EUR 8.6 million as at the same date. This investment will continue WPP’s strategy of developing its services in important markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media. WPP digital revenues (including associates) were over US$6.0 billion in 2013, representing almost 35% of the Group’s total revenues of US$17.3 billion. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years. In France, the Group (including associates) generates revenues of around US$800 million and employs over 5,000 people. WPP plc provides communications services worldwide.

Millward Brown UK Limited (USA) acquired InsightExpress LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing Consulting Date: August 2014
WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company, Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research, has acquired InsightExpress, Inc., a provider of media analytics and marketing accountability solutions in the United States. InsightExpress will be combined with Millward Brown Digital, the company’s US-based digital unit. InsightExpress’ unaudited revenues for the period ended 31 December 2013 were US$26.4 million with gross assets of US$8.8 million as of the same date. The company has over 200 clients including NBCUniversal, Google, Netflix, Hulu and Microsoft. The acquisition continues WPP’s strategy of investing in fast-growing markets and sectors such as data and digital. WPP’s digital revenues (including associates) were well over US$6 billion in 2013, approximately 35% of the Group’s total revenues of US$17.3 billion. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years. InsightExpress LLC provides digital marketing research solutions. Millward Brown UK Limited, a research agency, specializes in advertising, marketing communications, media, and brand equity research services in the United Kingdom.

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