Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 1st December

businessman doing handstand on the beachCircleGroup AS (Norway) agreed to acquire Wellpartner As (Norway)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: December 2014
HitecVision has announced that its subsidiary, Circle Group, has acquired WellPartner AS, an equipment and services company servicing the Norwegian subsea, completion and intervention markets. WellPartner was established in Stavanger in June 2008 as a consulting company, and has since then developed into a technology focused subsea well access and intervention specialist. The company consists of three main businesses; WellPartner Products, WellPartner Services and WellPartner Consulting. WellPartner Products has through extensive knowledge of marine riser operations, well access and downhole operations, launched several niche products with growth potential in the market. The product portfolio consists of a mix between commercialised products and products under development. WellPartner AS provides technical expertise, equipment, and services within subsea drilling, completion, and intervention operations for oil companies. HitecVision AS is a private equity and venture capital firm specialising in investments in seed stage, growth capital, replacement capital, mature stage, PIPEs, industry consolidation, buyouts including management buyouts, and public to private transactions in middle market companies.

Deming Malone Livesay & Ostroff (USA) acquired Healthcare Practice Consultants, LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Healthcare consulting Date: December 2014
A Louisville-based CPA firm has acquired a consulting firm that focuses on management of physician and dental practices. DMLO CPAs has acquired Healthcare Practice Consultants LLC, also based in Louisville, for an undisclosed amount. Deming, Malone, Livesay & Ostroff PSC rebranded as DMLO CPAs in September. Healthcare Practice Consultants provides practice management, tax and accounting services to physicians and dentists across Kentucky and Indiana, according to a news release. Charles K. “Chuck” Thieman, founder and president of HPC, and the firm’s five other employees will join DMLO but will continue to operate and be known as Healthcare Practice Consultants. With the acquisition, DMLO will have a total of 91 employees. “Teaming up with DMLO is an ideal move for HPC,” Thieman said in the release. “Together we are better-positioned to meet the challenges of the ever-changing health care environment.” In addition to tax planning, compliance and accounting services, the group will offer oversight in new practice set-up, collections management, personnel training and evaluation, physician compensation arrangements, benchmarking, practice surveys, practice valuation, M&A services and ongoing consultation, according to the release. Healthcare Practice Consultants, LLC provides healthcare consulting services to physicians and dentists.

Porte Brown LLC (USA) acquired Brown Kaplan + Liss LLP (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Financial consulting Date: December 2014
Accounting and consulting firm Porte Brown LLC, of Elk Grove Village, said it will merge with Brown, Kaplan + Liss (BKL), an Evanston-based public accounting firm that is among the largest along the north suburbs. Brown, Kaplan + Liss dates back to 1962 and is known as an industry leading, reputable firm providing accounting, assurance, attest, tax, planning and consulting services for businesses, business owners, trusts, estates and individuals in many fields, each of which has its own unique tax and regulatory circumstances. “We are very excited about the new opportunities to work together with the talented team of Brown, Kaplan + Liss,” said Bruce Jones, managing partner of Porte Brown. “We have known BKL for years and just recently started to discuss a merger. Once we started to share our philosophies of client service, investing in top talent and the importance of supporting local businesses and communities, we knew it was a perfect fit.” Porte Brown LLC is a nationally recognised accounting and consulting firm. Brown Kaplan + Liss LLP is a premier Chicago CPA firm specialising in personal and small business accounting.

Hollstadt & Associates, Inc. (USA) acquired the assets of BenchmarkQA, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Hollstadt & Associates Inc., a woman owned and operated company, acquired all of the assets of BenchmarkQA, Inc. With the expanded service offering of quality assurance (QA) capabilities Hollstadt’s service offerings will now include: program management, project management, business analysis, project coordination, quality assurance and management consulting capabilities. This strategic acquisition –the first in Hollstadt’s 24 year history- blends two exceptional; industry leading Minnesota-based firms resulting in a combined organisation that will better meet clients’ needs. The synergy of the combined organisation is best exemplified in the leadership positions both have reached within their respective industry niches. The complementary service offerings are matched by cultures that are based upon trust, understanding, and an unmatched commitment to the client. This union is a win/win for clients and consultants alike. The newly expanded Hollstadt will immediately leverage BenchmarkQA’s extensive experience in QA best practices and help clients drive quality throughout software implementations. The acquisition also allows Hollstadt to better serve the full life cycle of clients’ projects, while meeting the ever-increasing demand for high-quality consulting services. “I believe that this acquisition makes us an even stronger partner to our clients and consultants as we offer additional exceptional service offerings staffed by the industry’s best consultants. We waited 24 years to make our first acquisition; we think this one makes sense to all parties involved,” said Hollstadt’s CEO Molly Jungbauer. BenchmarkQA, offers software consulting and testing services. Hollstadt & Associates, Inc. (H&A) provides management consulting and business analysis services.

The Bonadio Group (USA) agreed to acquire Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Business consulting Date: December 2014
The Bonadio Group is merging with Syracuse-based CPA firm Testone, Marshall & Discenza LLP, creating what company officials say will be the largest accounting and consulting organisation in Central New York. The merger is slated to be finalised Jan. 1, with the new organisation operating under the Bonadio name. The merger will bring the size of the firm to more than 600 people, which is expected to push it up in the Accounting Today list of top 50 firms in the nation, officials said. “The national trend of CPA firm mergers is reaching Central New York, and we’re excited to lead the way with the Bonadio Group,” said Frank Discenza, managing partner of Testone, Marshall & Discenza. “This merger comes at an opportune time, because both of our firms are prepared to offer more to clients in Central New York, and together we have the professionals and the services to help them solve problems and grow.” TMD professionals offer a full-range of audit and accounting, tax services and consulting services.

Accenture plc (Ireland) to acquire Reactive Media Pty Ltd (Australia)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: December 2014
Management consulting firm Accenture announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Reactive Media, an independent digital agency headquartered in Melbourne. Accenture says the acquisition of Reactive, which specialises in apps, ecommerce web sites and social, will strengthen the firm’s digital marketing and technology services. Reactive’s digital capabilities will be incorporated into the marketing experience services offered through Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, that include creative design, customer experience, digital production and ecommerce platforms. Brian Whipple, senior managing director, Accenture Interactive, says demand is growing rapidly for services that integrate creative ideas with design, usability, data-driven customer insights, and technology. “Brands are recognising that being relevant to customers has never depended more on how they engage with customers digitally. The agreement to acquire Reactive demonstrates our continued investment in digital marketing services to better help our clients provide innovative and engaging customer experiences across all channels.” Accenture plc provides management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services worldwide. Reactive Media Pty Ltd. operates as a digital agency.

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc (UK) acquired 75% stake in Morar Consulting Limited (UK)
Deal Size: $2.8 million Industry: Marketing consulting Date: December 2014
Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, the digital communications group, announces that it has acquired a 75% stake in Morar, an international market research consultancy based in London, which measures and advises on brand performance. Morar was founded in 2005 by Roger Perowne and Alistair Cunningham, both of whom will remain with the business following the acquisition. The team includes researchers, consultants, strategists and software developers; together providing managers with the insight and ideas to grow the value of their brands. Morar has a strong client list that includes Admiral, Land Securities, Dell, Fitness First, Sky, Nando’s, Pearson, Global Blue and TPG Capital. The initial consideration is £1.35m in cash with a further payment expected to be approximately £0.45m in February 2015 dependent on Morar’s normalised profit before tax for the twelve months to 31 January 2015. Deferred consideration is payable in 2018 dependent upon the performances of Morar for the financial years to January 2017 and 2018, Any deferred consideration that may become payable may be satisfied in cash or up to 25% in new Next 15 ordinary shares, at the option of Next 15. Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15 commented: “In the last few years Morar has invested in the development of its own technology platform. Morar’s approach of combining high level consulting and technology fits with our digital strategy and extends our commitment to the insight and analytics area of marketing.” Roger Perowne, CEO of Morar, said: “We’ve been looking for an entrepreneurial partner to help us take Morar forward and in Next 15 have found the people, brands and strategy that fit our ambitions perfectly.” Morar Consulting Limited provides market research consultancy services on brand performances. Next Fifteen Communications Group plc provides communications services worldwide.

Apollo Global Management, LLC (USA) to acquire Presidio, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
American Securities LLC and Apollo Global Management, LLC (together with its subsidiaries, “Apollo”) announced that funds affiliated with Apollo have entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Presidio Holdings, Inc. from affiliates of American Securities. Presidio is a premier IT infrastructure solutions provider for approximately 6,000 clients across the United States. Aided by the expertise of its nearly 1,200 engineers, Presidio assists clients in designing, procuring, implementing and managing IT infrastructures that deliver tangible business value. Presidio provides services across six core technology verticals, including networking, data centers, mobility, security, collaboration, and contact centers and supports these solutions with market leading offerings such as Presidio Managed Networks and Presidio Managed Cloud. With over 2,200 total employees across 57 offices, Presidio is one of the largest private IT services providers in the nation.

Hays plc (UK) acquired 80% stake in Veredus Corporation (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: HR consulting Date: December 2014
Hays plc of London, a specialist recruitment company, purchased an 80 percent stake in Veredus for $44 million, Hays said in a statement. Hays said it retains the right to purchase the remaining 20 percent of Veredus from shareholders. Veredus was founded in 2001 and now includes 10 offices nationwide. It has 150 employees and more than 800 contractors working in 30 states, according to a statement. Hays has 8,237 employees in 237 offices in 33 countries. “The opportunity to partner with the global leader in specialist recruitment is exciting to us all,” said Veredus Founder and CEO Dan Rodriguez in a statement. “It provides Veredus with an opportunity to compete on an even playing field with the largest staffing firms in the U.S. Starting immediately, we will focus on growing and expanding our existing technology flex and perm placement operations. Later, we will introduce new placement specialisms into our branch network.” Hays plc operates as a specialist recruitment company worldwide. Veredus Corporation, a technical staffing company, provides information technology (IT) staffing services in the United States.

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