Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 15th September

businessman doing handstand on the beachValuesetters Inc. (USA) acquired The Mac Venture Group Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: $200,000 Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Valuesetters Inc. announced that it has acquired MAC Venture Group LLC for a purchase price of $200,000. MAC will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Valuesetters. Valuesetters’ Chief Executive Officer, Manny Teixeira, said, “MAC is an important acquisition for us. In conjunction with the deal, we acquire an experienced executive, Patrick Cahill, to lead our sales and business development efforts. MAC expects minimum annual revenues of $250,000, but Patrick’s goal is to reach $1 million in the first year.” “I am eager to help Valuesetters grow quickly,” noted Mr. Cahill. “I like the small investments that Valuesetters has made in other companies, and I believe that will continue. I also see many possibilities for its song platform and VoIP app. I look forward to working with the team to increase the value of our products and our equity.” MAC Venture Group, Inc. offers sales and marketing consulting services. Valuesetters, Inc. operates as an Internet-based gaming company.

Hot Rock Limited (Australia) acquired OCTIEF Pty Ltd (Australia)
Deal Size: $4.2 million Industry: Environmental consulting Date: September 2014
Hot Rock has completed its acquisition of environmental consulting and hazardous materials testing business OCTIEF Pty Ltd. OCTIEF carries out studies, including mine sites, contaminated land sites, buildings, soils and water, which need to be done as part of government and council development approvals for new project developments. The acquisition of OCTIEF has allowed the Company to remain in the important environmental sector for the improvement of the health of our planet and society and at the same time operate a growing business so as to improve shareholder value and generate sustainable and profitable performance. Acquiring OCTIEF provides the Company with a new opportunity which is based on market strength and growing profit potential. OCTIEF Pty Ltd., a multidisciplinary consulting company, provides engineering, environmental, and occupational services. Hot Rock Limited, a geothermal energy company, is engaged in the exploration of prospective geothermal energy prospects in South America and Australia.

Kantar Health LLC (USA) acquired Evidências (Brazil)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Healthcare consulting Date: September 2014
Kantar Health, a leading global healthcare consulting firm, has acquired Evidências, an industry leader in evidence-based, health management services in Brazil. Known for its strong scientific reputation, Evidências works with all segments of the Brazilian healthcare market, including health insurers, government bodies, hospitals and providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The acquisition expands Kantar Health’s presence in an important emerging market and provides the company with new capabilities in cost effectiveness and budget impact economic models, local dossier submission packages and professional writing. Kantar Health also receives valuable expertise in the DATASUS governmental database and a key private insurance database covering 20 percent of the privately insured population in Brazil – offering a complete picture of the healthcare sector in the country. Evidências gains access to Kantar Health’s leading data assets and global team of healthcare consultants, allowing Evidências to strengthen its work in evidence-based medicine and further extend its range of services in consulting, market access and training. Through this acquisition, Kantar Health will be able to provide better coordination of market access and health outcomes in Brazil, while allowing both companies to expand their current client bases and deliver local support for Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey, CancerMPact®, Forecast Architect® and Epi Database® offers. Evidências provides healthcare-focused consultancy and marketing insights services. Kantar Health LLC, a subsidiary of WPP, provides healthcare-focused consultancy and marketing insights services in the United States and internationally.

Stambaugh Ness, PC (USA) acquired Acuity Business Solutions, LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: September 2014
Stambaugh Ness Business Solutions, LLP (SNBS) announced it has acquired Reston, VA-based Acuity Business Solutions LLC, which will become a division of SNBS. SNBS and Acuity are both channel partners of Deltek software, a leading global enterprise and information solution for project-based businesses. This acquisition significantly expands SNBS’ leadership position into the professional services/architectural and engineering community creating a national presence. The combined organisation will have staff in 9 states and serve clients in more than 40 states, and positions SNBS as a Deltek Premier Partner which is awarded based on excellence in marketing, selling, implementing and supporting Deltek solutions. June Jewell, former Acuity President, added, “I am thrilled to partner with such a talented team of accounting and technology professionals. The combination of our two teams will provide a great benefit to our clients, employees and Deltek. I will continue to stay involved as a Strategic Advisor to ensure the success of our clients and projects.” Stambaugh Ness, PC provides accounting and financial advisory services.

Metrostudy Inc. (USA) acquired New Home Trends Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Metrostudy, Inc., a Hanley Wood company and the leading provider of primary research and analysis to the U.S. housing industry, announced that it has acquired New Home Trends, Inc., a real estate research and consulting business serving the Pacific Northwest United States. “The acquisition of New Home Trends represents an important step in Metrostudy’s growth strategy by enhancing our geographic scope and coverage,” said Peter Goldstone, CEO of Hanley Wood. “The addition of Seattle, the 10th largest US MSA, completes our national footprint with local coverage in all of the top 20 MSAs.” “Seattle is one of the fastest growing housing markets in the United States, making it an important growth opportunity for our customers,” said Chris Veator, President of Metrostudy. “New Home Trends has deep knowledge and research capabilities in the Pacific Northwest that will greatly complement our existing Metrostudy platform and allow us to offer an even more robust and valuable product platform to our customers.” New Home Trends, Inc. provides real estate research information and consulting services. Metrostudy Inc. provides real estate research information, residential construction information, and analytical services related to residential real estate development, remodeling, and new-home construction to builders, manufacturers, the finance sector, the public sector, consumers, and appraisers.

RSM McClure Watters (Ireland) acquired Public and Corporate Economic Consultants Limited (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Leading research and consulting firm RSM McClure Watters Consulting Ltd has announced the acquisition of a highly respected Cambridge-based economic consultancy. PACEC is a strong brand within the public sector consulting market across the UK, with core services which include economic development and regeneration strategies, economic modelling and impact assessment, feasibility studies and the evaluation of policies and initiatives. The team has expert knowledge in the fields of higher education, the economy, skills, regeneration and area planning. David Watters, Managing Partner, RSM McClure Watters, said: “We are delighted to have acquired PACEC in a decision which strengthens our experience in a number of key areas, most notably education, local government, regeneration and economic development.” Public and Corporate Economic Consultants Limited provides economic consultancy services.

McGladrey LLP (USA) to acquire substantially all the assets of Battelle Rippe Kingston LLP (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
McGladrey LLP has expanded its practice in Ohio by acquiring substantially all the assets of Battelle Rippe Kingston LLP, a CPA firm that offers assurance, tax and consulting services in Southwest Ohio. “By joining forces with Battelle Rippe Kingston, McGladrey has the opportunity to truly own the middle market in Ohio with offices across the state,” said McGladrey managing partner and CEO Joe Adams in a statement. “The depth and breadth of our combined Ohio practice will be a major force in the market, creating opportunities for our clients and our people. We look forward to welcoming the Battelle Rippe Kingston team and benefitting from their more than 140 years of combined experience in the state of Ohio.” Battelle Rippe Kingston LLP provides information technology solutions and services in the United States. McGladrey LLP is a public accounting firm. The services provided by the firm include accounting, auditing, taxation and consulting services, public offering, and related services to businesses and organisations of all sizes.

Tractebel Engineering S.A. (Belgium) agreed to acquire Lahmeyer International GmbH (Germany)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: September 2014
Tractebel Engineering, a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ S.A., has agreed to acquire Lahmeyer International GmbH, an independent consulting engineering company, from capiton AG, an investment firm. Both Lahmeyer and capiton are based in Germany. Tractebel Engineering is a Belgium-based provider of engineering and consulting services for the energy and infrastructure sectors, while GDF SUEZ is a France-based electric utility company. The acquisition will allow Tractebel Engineering to further develop the energy services business on an international scale. Lahmeyer International GmbH, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a multidisciplinary engineering company in Germany and internationally. It provides engineering and consulting services that include studies, project concepts, approval and detailed design, tender preparation, supervision of construction, assembly and commissioning, operational consulting, project management, and fiduciary project execution. Tractebel Engineering S.A. provides life-cycle consultancy and engineering services to power, nuclear, gas, industry, and infrastructure customers in the public and private markets.

Optimity Advisors LLC (USA) acquired The Matrix Knowledge Group Ltd. (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Optimity Advisors announced it has agreed to acquire the London, UK-based Matrix Knowledge. Matrix Knowledge is an advisory and data management firm primarily focused in UK and Mainland Europe. They provide advisory services in the health and social care, justice, education and life sciences within these regions. Expanding its European operations has long been a part of the Optimity Advisors’ strategy as its operations have grown throughout the US market. Matrix Knowledge currently specialise in the health and social care, justice, education and life science sectors working for clients such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Rick McNabb, CEO and Managing Partner of Optimity Advisors, said: “This is a great opportunity to transform our business with additional capabilities and a presence in Europe. The combination of Optimity Advisors and Matrix Knowledge brings together two highly complementary companies. With Matrix Knowledge providing deep sector experience, academic rigor and data management skills combined with Optimity Advisors’ powerful strategic and operational capabilities clients no longer have to knit together a solution. The combined offering will better provide a comprehensive set of solutions to our regional and global clients.” Optimity Advisors is a specialised management consulting and advisory firm that combines deep industry expertise and integrated solutions to help companies enhance stakeholder value, improve operations, and address performance and risk related challenges. The Matrix Knowledge Group offers economic research, advice and data management services to public and private sector clients across Europe.

Hurley Palmer Flatt Ltd. (UK) acquired Andrew Reid & Partners (Consulting Engineers) Limited (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Mechanical and engineering consultants, Hurley Palmer Flatt (HPF), has acquired a majority controlling share of engineering consultancy firm Andrew Reid & Partners (AR&P) for an undisclosed amount. AR&P provides consultancy services in the design and commissioning of mechanical and electrical building service works. The company, which employs 30 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £4 million, will continue to operate as an independent consultancy, operating as a subsidiary of HPF. The AR&P board is to be chaired by Hurley Palmer Flatt group chairman Paul Flatt. Flatt said: “Our investment in what is recognised as one of the leading commissioning management businesses is another step forward to allow our clients to independently commission and design buildings”. Hurley Palmer Flatt Ltd., a multi-disciplinary building engineering consultancy, provides mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy and associated services. Andrew Reid & Partners (Consulting Engineers) Limited provides design, commissioning, and engineering services.

RPS Group plc (UK) acquired Point Project Management Pty Ltd (Australia)
Deal Size: $28 million Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Leeds-based consultancy RPS has announced the acquisition of Point Project Management Pty Ltd, an Australian project management consultancy, for a maximum consideration of £17.6 million (AU$31.0 million). Founded in 2006, Point is headquartered in Canberra and has offices in 7 other major Australian cities. The company, which employs over 130 permanent staff, works primarily on projects to deliver new developments for its clients, from inception, through planning and design, to completed construction. Alan Hearne, chief executive of RPS, commented: “Point has an excellent reputation and track record, particularly in the Australian defence sector. Its skills will complement the services RPS currently provides in Australia and enable us further to rebalance our business towards the non-resources parts of the economy.“ Point Project Management Pty Ltd offers project management consultancy services. RPS Group PLC provides advice for the exploration and production of oil and gas and other natural resources; and development and management of the built and natural environment.

Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. (UK) to acquire search and content marketing agency business from Covario, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: September 2014
Dentsu Aegis Network announces the signing of an agreement to acquire Covario’s search and content marketing agency business. Covario is an independent search and content performance marketing agency, with a standalone SEO software unit, headquartered in San Diego, California. The firm has more than 140 professionals who provide paid and organic search, social media, and content marketing agency services to global brands and leading direct marketing clients. Covario’s Rio SEO software unit, which offers award-winning local SEO, enterprise search, and social media automation and analytic tools, will remain independent following the transaction and will continue to work with clients where it has an existing relationship. Following the completion of the deal, Covario’s agency business will become part of Dentsu Aegis Network, and will transition toward operating as iProspect – Dentsu Aegis Network’s global digital performance agency – over the coming months. The acquisition marks the coming together of two award-winning agencies, both powerhouses in SEO, paid search, content marketing and digital performance. With the strength of leadership on both sides, the collective experience across multiple client industry verticals, and the partnerships each shares with some of the world’s biggest brands, this acquisition marks a significant step forward for all involved. “This acquisition represents another important development for Dentsu Aegis Network in the U.S.,” said Nigel Morris, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Americas & EMEA. “We have a very clear strategy for the capabilities and agencies we bring into our operating model. Covario is uniquely suited to complement and scale iProspect’s outstanding offering as the world’s leading digital performance agency.” Covario, Inc. provides software-as-a-service interactive marketing analytics software solutions. Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides branding, media, and marketing services to customers worldwide.

Gemini Corp. (Canada) to acquire Muskeg Environmental Consulting Ltd. (Canada)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Environmental consulting Date: September 2014
Gemini Corporation is pleased to announce that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Muskeg Environmental Consulting Ltd., a respected environmental consulting firm servicing oil and gas clients in the burgeoning region of north-eastern British Columbia. Muskeg employs over 30 professionals in its office located in Fort St. John, British Columbia, specialising in environmental, remediation and reclamation services. This acquisition is an important step in Gemini’s strategy to expand its regulatory, environmental and land service offering both from a capability and geographic perspective. The oil and gas market is evolving with increasing regulation on virtually all aspects of the industry. This evolution is creating a high growth opportunity for service providers with a breadth of local capability to deliver solutions designed to expedite the regulatory approval processes. Gemini has been a participant in this changing market for a number of years and sees this as an opportune time to be expanding its service offering. The services delivered by Muskeg are complementary to Gemini’s existing business and there is very little overlap in the client base between the two organisations. In addition, strengthening our service offering at the front end of facility projects is expected to translate into increasing opportunity for Gemini’s engineering and field service business units. Muskeg Environmental Consulting Ltd., doing business as SHARP Environmental (2000) Ltd., provides soil handling and reclamation services in Canada. Gemini Corporation, a professional services company, is engaged in designing, building, and maintaining energy and industrial facilities in Western Canada and internationally.

NiXEN Partners S.A.S. (France) acquired Weave Group (France)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
NiXEN announces the acquisition of a majority share in weave group, an operational strategy consultancy, in partnership with weave’s management team. weave works with customers from initial definition of strategy through scoping projects for ventures in new business areas, to the operational implementation. Since weave was founded in 2001 by Didier Rousseau, CEO, joined in 2005 by Eric Delannoy and Alexandre Meyer, the group has developed a strong business-specific expertise in each of its sectors (Banking & Insurance, Industry and Services) and specific, differentiated services offerings for the market (digital, design thinking, innovation, customer satisfaction management, optimisation of human capital, lean management, supply-chain, etc.), combined with a transversal Business Technology. With over 220 consultants, weave has generated an average annual revenue growth of 10% over the last four years, reaching nearly €40 M in 2013. Jean-Paul Bernardini, CEO of NiXEN Partners, says: “I am delighted that we have signed this partnership with weave’s teams. We shall be accompanying them through a key stage in their development, notably by bringing them our expertise in external growth and international development. The outstanding performance posted by the group since it was founded demonstrates the very high quality of the management team and proves that weave has gone for the right strategy”. Weave SA provides operational strategy consultancy services.

Kain Knight Group Plc (UK) acquired SettleFirst (UAE)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Kain Knight has acquired costs and debt management company SettleFirst, based in Dubai. SettleFirst specialises in advising insurance companies, banks and other institutions on debt recovery and collections, and also works closely with the legal community in the United Arab Emirates. Mitesh Modha, Kain Knight’s Head of Technical and Special Projects, is managing SettleFirst in the short term, and is in the process of developing an enhanced business plan with the current SettleFirst team. It is our intention to develop SettleFirst’s existing income streams and also use the business as a platform to provide Kain Knight’s services to firms based in the UAE and throughout the rest of the GCC region. Peter Petyt, Kain Knight’s CEO said “The acquisition of SettleFirst is an important step in our growth programme, providing valuable geographical and service line diversification. There are compelling synergies between SettleFirst’s existing client relationships and Kain Knight’s target clients in the GCC region, and we intend to grow SettleFirst’s existing services alongside the provision of existing and new legal costs services”. SettleFirst provides debt management and recovery consultancy services.

Digital Benefit Advisors Inc. (USA) acquired Clark Benefits, Inc., Drew Miller Insurance Services and Shargel & Co. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Digital Benefit Advisors (DBA) in Northern California has significantly increased its market share by acquiring three California benefits firms: Clark Benefits, Drew Miller Insurance Services and Shargel & Co. The leading division of the nation’s largest employee benefits-only company, DBA is continuing to expand its mid-market advisory services across the country with 24 offices. Christopher Clark, Drew Miller, Susan Shargel and their teams have joined forces with Digital to provide clients broader capabilities, an expansive breadth of resources and enhanced tools. “Northern California is a strong market for us and bringing Chris, Drew, Susan and their colleagues into the DBA fold is indicative of our growth strategy and ability to recruit quality talent,” says Mike Sullivan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Digital Insurance. “Our West Coast office, under Jeff Fallick’s leadership, has made significant strides, achieving impressive organic growth this year. The addition of these three firms will further strengthen DBA’s capabilities to provide best-in-class benefits services, meeting employers and their employees’ evolving needs in spite of today’s complex healthcare marketplace.” Digital Benefit Advisors Inc. provides employee benefits solutions.

M.A. Hoops and Associates Inc. (USA) completed the acquisition of Rea & Associates, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
Rea & Associates Inc., a regional accounting and business consulting firm with 11 offices throughout Ohio, has merged with Lima-based accounting firm, M.A. Hoops & Associates, Inc., effective Sept. 1, 2014. “M.A. Hoops & Associates is a well-respected accounting firm in the Lima community, and we are thrilled that they have joined the Rea team,” said Lee Beall, CPA, CEO of Rea & Associates. “We look forward to expanding our reach in the Lima community and continuing our long history of quality client service.” As a top 100 accounting firm, Rea & Associates specializes in audit, tax and high-level consulting services for a wide variety of industries, including government, medical & dental, oil & gas, manufacturing, not-for-profit and construction. Rea & Associates, Inc. (RAI) offers accounting and business consulting services.

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