Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 8th December

businessman doing handstand on the beachDriver Group, PLC (UK) acquired initiate Consulting Limited (UK)
Deal Size: $8.3 million Industry: Engineering consulting Date: December 2014
Driver Group plc announced the acquisition of initiate Consulting Limited. The total consideration for the acquisition is 5.3 million pounds, and is being satisfied by way of an initial cash payment of 1.5 million pounds, satisfied out of the company’s existing financial resources, and by the issue of 1,594,274 new ordinary shares in Driver Group. The remaining 2.185 million pounds is comprised of an additional cash element, which is deferred over a 2 year period. Initiate are capital investment consultants providing development, project and construction management services to the infrastructure market in the UK. Driver Group said the acquisition enables it to immediately provide development and project management services on significant aviation, highway and rail projects across the UK. Initiate Consulting Ltd. offers infrastructure development, project, and construction management services. Driver Group plc, through its subsidiaries, provides consultancy services to the engineering and construction industries.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co. (USA) acquired The Titan Group LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: HR consulting Date: November 2014
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of The Titan Group, LLC (Titan) located in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 2001, Titan provides human resource consulting services for private, public, nonprofit, education and state government clients throughout the Eastern United States. They specialise in compensation consulting, leadership development, organisational development and human resource advisory products and services. Genevieve Roberts, Lee Weisiger and their associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of William Ziebell, head of Gallagher’s North Central region employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations. “Titan is well-known and well-respected in the industry for its human resource expertise. Over the years, they have focused on creating specialty HR products and services for their middle-market clients, which will fit well within our national practice group,” said J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO. “Their East Coast presence and specialisation will be a wonderful addition to our human resource consulting operations. We are extremely pleased to welcome Genevieve, Lee and their colleagues to our growing Gallagher family of professionals.” Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance brokerage and risk management services in the United States and internationally. The Titan Group LLC provides human resources (HR) consulting services in the United States.

Page (USA) acquired BMS Design Group (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: December 2014
Page, a multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firm, announces that it has expanded its urban design and urban/campus planning capabilities through the acquisition of BMS Design Group, a consulting firm in San Francisco. Their areas of expertise include urban planning, urban design and landscape architecture. Additionally, Dan Kenney, an award-winning architect and master campus/site planner with four decades of experience, will join Page in the new office. This will also advance Page’s planning service capabilities in transit-related projects, waterfronts and streetscapes across all its offices. In turn, Page will offer architectural, engineering, interior design and strategic consulting to West Coast clients. This also means Page now has offices in every time zone across the continental United States.

Omnicom’s DAS Group of Companies (UK) acquired DDC Advocacy (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: December 2014
The DAS Group of Companies (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc., announced the acquisition of DDC Advocacy, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that conducts advocacy campaigns for major corporations, trade associations, business coalitions and nonprofit organisations. DDC Advocacy, a major player in technology-based, fully integrated public affairs and grassroots communications, will offer its services across Omnicom’s companies. Founded in 1996, DDC Advocacy employs state-of-the-art technology and data through Democracy Direct, its proprietary Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform. The technology platform uses data-driven insights to conduct campaign-style advocacy programs that help clients achieve business and policy goals. “DDC Advocacy is a data-driven consulting company that knows how to use highly relevant data for targeting and campaign activation,” said Dale Adams, Chairman and CEO, DAS. “This acquisition is consistent with Omnicom’s overarching strategy to leverage data and insights to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients and their brands.” DDC Advocacy provides public affair consulting and campaigns solution for PACs and organisations. DAS Group of Companies offers marketing and public relation services.

Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc (USA) acquired Government Contract Solutions, Inc (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: HR consulting Date: December 2014
Preferred Systems Solutions, a Tysons Corner-based provider of Information Technology, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Program Management, and Financial Consulting services, announced its acquisition of Government Contract Solutions Inc. GCS supports high priority programs for customers at the forefront of federal spending initiatives and has an established and growing presence with the Intelligence Community and Department of Homeland Security. The acquisition of GCS strengthens PSS’s position as a contractor of choice within the Intelligence Community, Defense, and Civilian Federal markets. “PSS is committed to providing world class support to the men and women charged with upholding our national security in their important mission to defend our country and preserve our democracy at home and abroad. The acquisition of GCS, with an 18 year successful track record of outstanding customer support within the Intelligence and Civilian Federal communities, expands our commitment to those men and women,” said Scott Goss, CEO of PSS. Government Contract Solutions, Inc. provides acquisition, contract services, and project management solutions for federal agency and government contractor clients. Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. provides information technology, engineering, and program management services.

PT&C Forensic Consulting Services, P.A. (USA) acquired LWG Consulting, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Business consulting Date: December 2014
PT&C Forensics, Inc., a leading provider of forensic engineering services to the insurance claims industry, announced that it has acquired global forensic engineering firm, LWG Consulting, Inc. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, LWG is a leader in forensic engineering, with over 20 offices and more than 100 engineers and expert consultants located around the world. Since 1984, LWG has provided equipment damage assessment and accident investigation and failure analysis services to the Property/Casualty insurance industry and attorneys. In addition, LWG’s TekPro Global division provides industry-leading equipment restoration services. The acquisition positions PT&C/LWG as the preeminent global forensic engineering firm. With this acquisition, PT&C addresses the growing demand by insurance claims and legal professionals for a global, multi-disciplinary and highly-skilled forensic engineering partner. PT&C’s depth of experience managing fire and explosion investigations and civil/structural engineering incidents complemented by LWG’s core capabilities in electrical, mechanical and energy equipment losses creates a market-leading forensic engineering platform offering the comprehensive array of services to the insurance and legal communities. On the acquisition, Grover Davis, President and CEO of PT&C Forensics, comments, “LWG possesses a highly-skilled, global team of engineers and experts. Their strength in niche service offerings such as equipment losses, digital forensics and restoration, paired with a corporate culture built upon delivering superior customer service, made LWG an extremely attractive partner for us. I am confident that the combined 50 years of experience shared by PT&C and LWG leadership will enable delivery of unequivocal engineering expertise to our clients.” LWG Consulting, Inc. provides forensic engineering and recovery solutions for the insurance, legal, and risk management industries in the United States and internationally. PT&C Forensic Consulting Services, P.A. provides a range of forensic consulting services to determine the cause of damages to structures for claims management.

CBRE Group, Inc. (USA) acquired Inspection & Valuation International, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: December 2014
The head of IVI International Inc., a family-owned construction consulting business headquartered on the Platinum Mile in Harrison, said he expects the company to double the size of its operations in the next five years after its recent acquisition by CBRE Group Inc. Founded in 1973 as Inspection & Valuation International by Tancredi M. de Stefanis, a commercial construction contractor in Westchester, IVI has grown to include 200 employees nationwide under the direction of the founder’s sons, Carl, Mario and Mark de Stefanis.
The company, which provides construction risk management, construction cost recovery, due diligence, environmental, property condition and other consulting services for the industry’s lending institutions and equity investors, has outgrown its headquarters space on West Red Oak Lane in Harrison. The firm has provided services to lenders and investors on more than $50 billion of real estate projects across the U.S., according to CBRE. BRE Group, Inc. operates as a commercial real estate services and investment company worldwide.

LERETA, LLC (USA) acquired Industry Consulting Group, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Financial advisory Date: December 2014
California-based real estate tax firm LERETA confirms it acquired Texas-based Industry Consulting Group, a property tax services company. LERETA will continue operations at ICG and will use this move to expand its tax services. LERETA provides an array of tax reporting and auditing services for clients, while ICG provides tax reporting and valuation services, covering mortgage servicing, default services, manufactured housing and the energy sector. LERETA, LLC provides real estate tax service and flood zone certification services in the United States.

The Advisory Board Company (USA) to acquire Royall & Company, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: $850 million Industry: HR consulting Date: December 2014
Royall & Co., a Henrico County-based company that provides direct marketing student recruitment and enrollment management services for colleges and universities, is being acquired for $850 million. The buyer is The Advisory Board Co., a Washington, D.C.-based publicly held research and consulting firm for universities and hospitals. “Local employees will see very little change, and Royall will continue to operate under its brand,” said Mark Hubbard, with McGuireWoods Consulting LLC who is a spokesman for Royall & Co. “It creates a growth opportunity for both companies.” John Nester, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the two companies will be able to combine their data and experience to offer unique services to colleges and universities. The Advisory Board has about 2,800 employees and reported about $520 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year that ended in March. The Advisory Board Company provides best practices research and analysis, business intelligence and performance technology software, and consulting and management services to the health care and education industries in the United States and internationally. Royall & Company, Inc., a recruitment marketing consultancy, provides student admission management, higher education enrollment marketing, and alumni participation services for colleges and universities.

Winxnet, Inc (USA) acquired Maine Networks, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Winxnet, an IT outsourcing and consulting firm that meets the complete technology needs of private and public sector organisations, announced the acquisition of Maine Networks, a Maine technology consulting firm. The acquisition is the third of 2014 for Winxnet, and is part of the continued growth strategy for the company; a strategy focused on incorporating the addition of top technical talent in order to provide the highest level of service to Winxnet’s customers. “We are committed to finding the most talented and capable professionals to join our growing team and customer base,” said Chris Claudio, CEO of Winxnet. “Jeff has built an impressive company in Maine Networks that shares our fundamental ideology in delivering unparalleled IT excellence, with a focus on an exceptional customer service experience.” For over sixteen years, Maine Networks has been supporting the technology needs of a wide variety of small and medium sized businesses including law firms, title companies, non-profits and retail organizations. Winxnet customers will immediately benefit from Kinney’s technical skills, broad platform experience and expertise in the forensic data recovery field. Maine Networks, Inc. offers information technology consulting services.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (USA) agreed to acquire Neohapsis, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Cisco Systems, Inc. announced its intent to acquire privately held security advisory firm NeoHapsis as it sought to build strengths to help companies protect mission critical processes and assets. Hilton Romanski, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development said on the CISCO blog: “Together, Cisco, Neohapsis and our partner ecosystem will deliver comprehensive services to help our customers build the security capabilities required to remain secure and competitive in today’s markets. This will help our customers overcome operational and technical security vulnerabilities, achieve a comprehensive view of their risks, take advantage of new business models, and define structured approaches for better protection.” In September, Cisco announced the addition of a security services arm to its services business. Headed by Bryan Palma, Senior vice president and general manager, the new unit will offer managed security services related to Cisco’s security products. “The Neohapsis team will join the Cisco Security Services organization under the leadership of Senior Vice President and General Manager Bryan Palma,” says the press release. The acquisition of NeoHapsis will likely boost the operations of this business. Neohapsis, Inc. provides mobile and cloud security services. Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide.

Akka Technologies (France) acquired Auronik GmbH (Germany)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
AKKA Technologies announces the purchase of Auronik Group. Founded in 2010 in Munich, Auronik employs around 130 highly skilled employees and is enjoying strong growth. It is expected to achieve revenue of around €12 million in 2014, with a double-digit operating margin. Auronik’s acquisition will be accretive as early as 2015. AKKA Technologies’ medium-term strategic plan aims to accelerate its diversification in Germany and international markets. Expansion will come through further improvement of the Group’s skills and competitiveness, and by applying the Group’s business model among new and existing clients. After the success of MBtech’s integration, the acquisition of Auronik is the first step in the Group’s diversification in Germany. The markets for infotainment, driver assistance systems, connectivity and eMobility solutions are growing at a fast pace. Auronik has developed highly skilled expertise in these fields. Its integration within the AKKA Technologies Group will accelerate the deployment of its solutions to both Groups’ existing clients. AKKA Technologies provides engineering and technology consulting services in France and internationally.

Bulletproof Group Limited (Australia) acquired Pantha Corp (Australia)
Deal Size: $3.9 million Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
ASX-listed cloud firm Bulletproof is continuing to prove it’s not just resilient but also capable of aggressive business plays, announcing a full acquisition of cloud consulting firm Pantha Corp. The deal, worth up to $3.9 million in cash and shares, will see Bulletproof acquire Manly-based major AWS consulting partner Pantha Corp. “We are very excited by the opportunities presented by the established enterprise customer base serviced by the Pantha Corp team, as well as the prospective additional revenues from service offerings we will be able to offer our 600-odd customers,” Bulletproof CEO Anthony Woodward saod. “The Pantha Corp team have an established track record in the space. They have been a Bulletproof partner organisation on a number of key clients already, are a highly regarded Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, and their core DevOps culture is in tune with Bulletproof’s own strength in this area. Bulletproof Group Limited provides managed cloud and hosting services for business, enterprise, and government customers in Australia and the United States. Pantha Corporation Pty Ltd. provides IT consulting services.

Vistronix, Inc. (USA) acquired Agency Consulting Group, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Reston, Va.-based Vistronix announced Dec. 11 the acquisition of Agency Consulting Group, a Columbia, Md.-based provider of enterprise mission information technology solutions to the national intelligence community. “With this key strategic acquisition, Vistronix is extremely well positioned to provide high-priority solutions in supporting organizations across the National Intelligence Community in major areas such as technology, signals intelligence, information assurance and research,” Vistronix President and CEO John Hassoun said. “Our deal with ACG propels Vistronix to the forefront of IT infrastructure initiatives within the intelligence community and complements our customer-focused culture and forward-focused approach to new technologies.” Founded in 2004, ACG provides technical solutions in the areas of cloud computing analytics, critical systems infrastructure and specialized mission solutions. ACG is a primary architect of the intelligence community’s edict to migrate applications, software and infrastructure to cloud-based, virtual environments. Vistronix, Inc. provides national security information systems, solutions, and services.

SolutionsIQ, Inc. (USA) acquired BigVisible Solutions, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management / Strategy consulting Date: December 2014
US-based Agile consultancy SolutionsIQ Corp. has acquired US-based Agile consultancy BigVisible Solutions. With nearly 150 Agile consultants, the combined company forms the largest and most experienced Agile consulting firm focused exclusively on enterprise Agile adoption, SolutionsIQ said. The acquisition broadens SolutionsIQ’s US geographic reach, especially in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, it said. With the merger closed, SolutionsIQ will operate its main offices in Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston in the US, and Bangalore in India, while working closely with strategic global partners in the US, Asia, EMEA and South America. BigVisible Solutions is one of the foremost providers of innovation and transformation focused consulting, coaching, and training in the United States. With one of the largest networks of Agile and Lean practitioners, the company helps its clients pull off profound–seemingly impossible–change efforts, so they can learn to treat change and innovation as a part of everyday business. Based in Boston, the Company serves fortune-class companies in financial services, capital markets, insurance, and other industries.

Aimia Inc. (Canada) acquired Zinc (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, announced the acquisition of Zinc (Zed Inc. Ltd), an industry leading provider of SaaS behavioral segmentation solutions and consulting services focused on customer centric store management, ecommerce, buying & merchandising and product category management. Complementing Aimia’s existing products and services, the acquisition of Zinc will increase the breadth and depth of Aimia’s product suite. “The combination of Aimia’s global product suite and Zinc’s SaaS behavioural segmentation solutions makes it possible to rapidly develop and deploy a behavioural customer segmentation driven by customer interactions across all channels,” added Susan Rose, Founder of Zinc. “By automating the processes, embedding and streamlining the analytics we make it possible to do in a few days something that would otherwise take months to complete”. Founded in 2010 in the UK – and operating across the UK and continental Europe – Zinc’s team of five employees are experts at providing retailers with data based behavioural lifestyle segmentation and retail strategies. Aimia Inc. is a global leader in loyalty management. Employing more than 4,300 people in 20 countries worldwide, Aimia offers clients, partners and members proven expertise in launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, delivering proprietary loyalty services, creating value through loyalty analytics and driving innovation in the emerging digital, mobile and social communications spaces.

Cello Health (USA) acquired Promedica (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Healthcare consulting Date: December 2014
The healthcare communications group Cello Health continued its expansion with the acquisition of San Francisco-based market research consulting company Promedica. Promedica, a specialist in new product planning for life science companies, is also an adviser to biotech, pharma, diagnostic firms, start-ups and the investment community. Stephen Highley, Cello Health chairman, said: “This acquisition, and the introduction of Promedica’s experienced and talented team into Cello Health, will enable us to open up capacity on the West Coast [of the US], where we are seeing significant activity and potential with both pharma and biotech clients. Promedica will work closely with Cello Health’s market research branch Cello Health Insight in London, New York and Chicago, alongside working with its US teams in consulting and communications.

Apax Partners LLP (UK) made an offer to acquire EVRY ASA (Norway)
Deal Size: $600 million Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Apax Partners, one of Europe’s largest private-equity firms, offered to buy Norwegian information-technology services provider Evry ASA (EVRY) for 4.27 billion kroner ($600 million). Apax’s considerable international IT services expertise will help EVRY to accelerate its strategy to develop the strong aspects of the business, including the bank and finance solutions portfolio, scaling up its focus on industry verticals in the Nordic countries and at the same time continue to strengthen its regional footprint. The Apax Funds will support EVRY’s strategy for its transformation to offer competitive next generation cloud-based IT operations and to pursue accretive M&A opportunities. Evry ASA, formerly EDB ErgoGroup ASA is a Norway-based information technology (IT) services company. The Company operates in the Nordic IT services market with focus on IT outsourcing, IT solutions and IT consulting. The Apax Funds will provide EVRY with financial backing, expertise and support for investments and acquisitions in accordance with EVRY’s long-term strategy for profitable growth.

Verisk Analytics, Inc. (USA) acquired Maplecroft.NET Limited (UK)
Deal Size: $31.7 million Industry: IT consulting Date: December 2014
Acquisition brings comprehensive data and analytics to the Verisk Analytics risk management and supply chain solutions portfolio. Verisk Analytics, Inc. a leading source of information about risk, announced the acquisition of Maplecroft.Net Limited (“Maplecroft”), a leading provider of global risk analytics and advisory services. Using a proprietary data aggregation and analytical approach, Maplecroft enables its customers to assess, monitor, and forecast a growing range of worldwide risks, including geopolitical and societal risks, many down to the local site level. Maplecroft’s unique solutions are used by multinational companies, financial institutions, governments, and NGOs. Maplecroft is headquartered in Bath, England. As part of the Verisk Analytics risk management and supply chain solutions portfolio, Maplecroft will be known as “Verisk Maplecroft” and will continue to deliver thorough analyses of geopolitical, societal, human rights, economic, and environmental risks for nearly all countries in the world. “Maplecroft’s research, data, analytics, and platforms complement our world-class capability in natural catastrophe and extreme weather impact assessment to form a comprehensive set of analytics. The combination creates a solution set that will enable organisations to make informed risk-adjusted decisions for their assets, operations, and supply chains,” said Perry Rotella, group executive, Supply Chain Risk Analytics, and senior vice president and chief information officer of Verisk Analytics. “With this acquisition, Verisk establishes itself as a leading provider of value chain optimisation tools, providing comprehensive quantitative risk analytics and platforms by which our customers can visualise, quantify, mitigate, and manage their risk.” Verisk Analytics, Inc. provides proprietary data, analytic methods, and embedded decision support solutions for detecting fraud in property and casualty (P&C) insurance, financial, and healthcare industries in the United States. Verisk Maplecroft, a risk analytics, research, and strategic forecasting company, provides risk analytics and advisory services.

Porta Communications Plc (UK) agreed to acquire Icas Limited (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: December 2014
Porta Communications plc has acquired ICAS Ltd and its trading subsidiary Publicasity, a consumer public relations company specialising in food, drink, travel and tourism, retail, home and fashion. It will strengthen Porta’s Thirteen Communication presence in consumer PR alongside with providing critical mass. The total consideration of £2.8m includes £0.7m payable in cash, £0.7m in loan notes (coupon of 6%) with the balance (£1.4m) satisfied by the issue of 14m new ordinary shares at 10p per share, a premium to the current price. There is scope for an additional 2.5m of shares to be issued should certain conditions be satisfied. Publicasity delivered fee income of £3.1m and PBT of £0.5m for the year ended Dec-13. Publicasity ended FY13 with net current assets of £2.2m including cash of £0.4m. This is an attractive deal on sensible multiples – revenue multiple of 0.9x (0.8x ex-cash) and a PER of 6.6x (5.6x ex-cash). Publicasity has 28 employees and cost synergies are expected from the office consolidation. Porta has acquired two transformational businesses over the past months which are strategically important to providing critical mass for the public affairs, corporate reputation and consumer PR divisions. Both acquisitions should be earnings enhancing. Icas Limited operates as a public relations agency. Porta Communications PLC, through its subsidiaries, builds and operates communications and marketing business in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific.

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