Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 16th March

businessman doing handstand on the beachSt Ives plc (UK) acquired Solstice Consulting LLC (USA)
Deal Size: $73.6m Industry: Marketing consulting Date: March 2015
Marketing services company St Ives PLC said it has struck a deal to buy Solstice Consulting LLC for an initial GBP24.7 million in cash and shares. St Ives will pay a total of GBP24.7 million for the Chicago-based digital consultancy, comprising GBP20 million in cash and approximately 2.6 million shares in St Ives for the remaining GBP4.7 million. That would value those shares at 180.76 pence per share, slightly above St Ives’ closing price on Monday of 179.5 pence. A further GBP25.3 million may be payable, split between 80% in cash and 20% in St Ives shares, dependent on the profit performance of Solstice in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Solstice is a digital consultancy specialising in mobile-first digital product design and engineering services, St Ives said. It was established in 2001 and trades under the name Solstice Mobile. The business employs approximately 200 staff across three offices in Chicago, New York and Buenos Aires. “This acquisition further strengthens St Ives’ reputation and capabilities in digital, and significantly extends these into mobile. Strategically, the deal supports the growth of the Group’s marketing services division, while expanding our presence and capabilities in the Americas,” said St Ives Chief Executive Matt Armitage. Solstice Consulting LLC, doing business as Solstice Mobile, provides mobile-first digital product design and engineering services. It delivers engaging strategies and technologies to transform and accelerate businesses.

Survey Sampling International, LLC (USA) to acquire majority assets of MRops, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: March 2015
US-based survey research specialist SSI has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the majority of assets of market research operations services firm MRops. MRops provides services to management consulting firms and market research agencies. With this acquisition, SSI said it strengthens its capabilities in data solutions and technology by significantly expanding its operational and delivery capability, substantially adding to its B2B business and deepening its expertise in management consulting and healthcare. Founded in January 2007, MRops has approximately 200 employees across offices in North America, Asia and Europe. SSI’s acquisition of MRops will also expand SSI’s leadership footprint in the Asia Pacific region with the addition of an operations hub in Hyderabad, India. The majority owner of SSI is HGGC, a middle market private equity firm, who completed their majority investment transaction in December, 2014. SSI staff operates from 30 offices in 21 countries, offering sample, data collection, CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI’s 3,600 employees serve more than 2,500 clients worldwide. MRops, Inc. provides market research operations services in the United States and internationally. Survey Sampling International, LLC provides sampling, data collection, and data analytic solutions for consumer and business-to-business survey research.

ByteGrid Holdings LLC (USA) acquired Sidus BioData (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Healthcare IT consulting Date: March 2015
BYTEGRID Holdings LLC, a provider of multi-tenant data centers and IT infrastructure services, announced the acquisition of Sidus BioData (Sidus), the leading provider of compliant hosting solutions and compliance services for FDA and HIPAA-HITECH regulated companies. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, Sidus’ robust, compliant offerings in Cloud Hosting, Managed Hosting and IT Regulatory Consulting services, provide a comprehensive solution for some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and health care companies globally who are required to comply with US, Canadian and European IT GMP regulations and HIPAA HITECH. The Company’s turn-key set of solutions meet privacy laws, security concerns, and audit transparency requirements. In addition, Sidus offers hosting solutions to federal, state and local government agencies. Sidus currently operates out of three locations, including two in Maryland and one in Boston, MA. “The acquisition of Sidus expands BYTEGRID’s capabilities to provide high levels of compliance required for regulated industries — healthcare and Federal Government in particular,” said Rick Kurtzbein, research analyst with the 451 Group. “Sidus adds specialised compliant offerings and expertise, including regulatory consulting services, to BYTEGRID’s cloud and IT infrastructure services. The new compliant cloud and hosting offerings, when added to BYTEGRID’s suite of services, are a significant development for enterprises and Government organisations in Maryland and the DC metro area, with the firm looking to extend the compliance offerings horizontally across its growing national platform.” Sidus BioData provides managed hosting solutions and compliance services for commercial businesses, government agencies, life sciences/medical device, and health IT companies in the United States and internationally. ByteGrid Holdings LLC engages in acquiring, developing, and operating wholesale collocation data centers in the United States.

Savills Studley, Inc. (USA) to acquire KLG Advisors (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Real estate advisory Date: March 2015
Savills Studley has agreed to acquire KLG Advisors the management consulting firm. Founded in 1993, the company provides strategic location and workforce advisory services to large companies. The firm’s services include location strategy, evaluation and selection, workforce optimisation, public sector incentives, and a variety of corporate real estate advisory services, including portfolio evaluation and realignment. KLG’s existing employees, half a dozen professionals all based in New York, will move into Savills Studley’s New York City offices. Mitchell Steir, CEO and chairman of Savills Studley, observes, “KLG has the finest reputation among real estate advisory firms, providing unmatched analytical services combined with profound strategic guidance to some of America’s most successful companies.” Doane Kelly, founding principal of KLG, explains that, “KLG has received many overtures over the last two decades, but in the end there was really only one place where our intellectual capital could be effectively leveraged, and that was Savills Studley.” KLG Advisors offers location strategy development and real estate advisory services. Savills Studley, Inc. provides commercial real estate services, including tenant representation.

Cortec Group (USA) acquired a majority stake in IBA Holdings, LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Engineering consulting Date: March 2015
A group led by US-based private equity firm Cortec Group its affiliate Cortec Group Fund V, L.P. and management has acquired US-based consulting firm IBA Holdings, LLC d/b/a Vidaris and LPI, the firm said on Thursday. Founded nearly 90 years ago and headquartered in New York, NY, Vidaris and LPI are specialty architectural and engineering consulting firms, respectively, providing highly technical, value-added advisory, inspection and testing services. The company employs over 200 professionals in eight offices worldwide and serves as an independent third-party advisor for leading developers, property owners, industrial operators, utilities, architects and engineers. Cortec is a New York private equity firm which invests in middle market specialty service, healthcare, consumer, and distribution businesses. IBA Holdings, LLC, a consulting and inspection company, provides services for new construction and existing buildings in the United States and internationally.

Avtex Solutions, LLC (USA) acquired Digital Voice Systems, Inc. (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: March 2015
Avtex, a provider of integrated Customer Experience (CX) technologies, and a Microsoft Gold Partner and Interactive Intelligence (ININ) Platinum Elite Partner announced that they have acquired Digital Voice Systems (DVS), a contact center, CRM and enterprise communications solution provider headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For over 25 years DVS has been delivering award winning CX solutions throughout North America. As a focused Elite Partner with ININ, DVS was ININ’s third largest volume partner in 2014 and has been deploying the CIC, CaaS and now PureCloud solutions since 1998. The DVS commitment to quality, consulting and support with customer experience technologies aligns well with Avtex. “This acquisition brings two of the top ININ partner’s together, incorporating exceptional talent and further strengthening our technical capabilities,” says George Demou, president & CEO of Avtex. “Everything we do is focused on one goal: to deliver the very best customer experience to our clients customers, our innovation and technical know-how help us accomplish this. We are very excited to welcome the DVS talented team to Avtex.” Digital Voice Systems, Inc. offers hosted contact center and premise based solutions. Avtex Solutions, LLC, doing business as Avtex, provides consulting and professional services.

LiquidHub, Inc. (USA) acquired Redkite, LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: March 2015
Downtown Albuquerque salesforce app developer ClosedWon is part of an even bigger company this week after parent firm LiquidHub purchased New York-based Redkite LLC. LiquidHub’s acquisition of Redkite — a salesforce firm with 50 employees — is part of the company’s aggressive growth strategy. LiquidHub purchased ClosedWon in January and recently bought another salesforce company, Harvest Solutions. Terms of the Redkite deal were not disclosed. “LiquidHub is on a fast track to expanding our domestic footprint and digital customer engagement services in 2015,” said LiquidHub CEO Johnathan Brassington in a news release. “The addition of Redkite’s incredibly talented team, great client relationships and deep expertise in financial services as well as other industries will help us continue to strengthen LiquidHub’s focus on delivering customer engagement solutions on the salesforce platform.” Redkite, LLC provides cloud consulting services and Salesforce solutions to Fortune 500 companies in the United States and internationally. It offers cloud strategy and advisory services, including roadmap definition, package selection, application strategy and cloud architecture advisory, implementation assessments, application rationalisation, and program design; and delivery services, including program governance, solution design, data migration, usability engineering, development, and user adoption. LiquidHub, Inc. provides information technology consulting, solutions, and outsourcing services.

Anthesis Consulting Group PLC (UK) acquired The Environment Partnership (TEP) (UAE)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Environmental consulting Date: March 2015
Anthesis Group has acquired environmental and sustainability consulting firm TEP, its seventh acquisition in 18 months and second overseas. TEP, based in the United Arab Emirates, is working across the Middle East and India in Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, Waste and Hazardous Materials Management, Environmental, Health and Safety Auditing. The acquisition strengthens the Middle East platform following Anthesis establishment in Abu Dhabi last year. The company’s on the ground presence now extends to the UK, Central Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East as it progresses towards its vision to become the ‘leading global sustainability specialist firm’. Stuart McLachlan, CEO of Anthesis Group said: “The Middle East is an important region for us and was becoming a missing component in our corporate presence. We see an emerging need for our specialist skills where resource efficiency and environmental and social awareness are recognised as both risks and opportunities. We have secured an increasing amount of work in support of clients at a city level, with sustainable master planning; at a site and company level with EHS, carbon, water and waste management, and in support of capital projects with environmental and social impact assessments. To meet our strategic aims we need to have our own staff on the ground in strong local markets and in support of our global clients in their operations and their supply chains. TEP brings a strong team, quality client relationships and pipeline, and many years of experience working in the region.” Anthesis aims to occupy the space between the large players where sustainability is non-core and the small local specialist firms. Anthesis believes that clients prefer to buy from specialist firms where those firms have the critical mass to offer the technical depth across the breadth of specialist expertise required to deliver valued outcomes. Anthesis’ goal is to become the leading global specialist and the company’s rapid growth strengthens this ambition. An acquisition in the Middle East reinforces Anthesis’ intent to develop both organically and through acquisition in both the UK and overseas. Anthesis TEP offers environmental consulting services. Anthesis Consulting Group PLC provides consultancy, technology, and managed services to design and embed sustainable business practices for clients.

Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC (USA) acquired Albert Heeg Investment Management (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Financial advisory Date: March 2015
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Beacon Pointe Advisors has acquired Albert Heeg Investment Management Co. Alameda, Calif.-based Albert Heeg joins Beacon Pointe’s institutional consulting services group, which specialises in consulting institutional clients, including foundations and endowments, healthcare organisations, educational and religious institutions, Native American organisations, corporations, and insurance companies. Principal Al Heeg officially transitioned his practice in January 2015 and will now operate as part of Beacon Pointe’s institutional consulting services. His team includes Paul Deeley, senior vice president, and Keith Alm, vice president of operations. Beacon Pointe is an independent investment fee-only advisory firm. Beacon Pointe also provides investment consulting services for captive and property/causality insurance companies. Albert Heeg Investment Management offers commercial property and casualty insurance investment advisory services. Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC operates as an independent investment advisory company.

Versique Search & Consulting (USA) merged with McKinley Consulting (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: IT consulting Date: March 2015
Versique announced its merge with long-time sister-company McKinley Consulting. The firm will be known as Versique. McKinley Consulting, established in 2004, specialises in IT consulting with a focus on project management and business analysis, application development, and quality assurance. Versique is one of the largest consulting and executive search firms in the Midwest, and specialises in IT (information technology), HR (human resources), digital marketing, engineering and operations, finance and accounting, sales, CPG (consumer packaged goods), and executive retained search. The firm also has an internal digital marketing agency that specialises in strategic PPC, SEO, inbound marketing, and more. This is a great move for Versique and McKinley Consulting. “They have long since operated as one team and they share the same high-performance standards for their clients, so it seems like a natural progression that they merge into one valuable firm, under one brand,” said Michael Mathews, CIO, Deluxe Corporation. McKinley Consulting Inc. offers IT and business consulting services. Versique, Inc., a talent acquisition company, provides executive search and placement, and recruitment consulting services in Minnesota.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (USA) to acquire Wealth Management Consultants (NJ), LLC (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Financial advisory Date: March 2015
Peapack-Gladstone Financial has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Morristown, NJ-based Wealth Management Consultants (NJ), LLC (“WMC”). Doug Kennedy, PGB’s President and CEO commented, “We are excited that WMC has decided to join Peapack-Gladstone Bank and become a foundational part of our private wealth management business. WMC’s advice-led business model marries perfectly with Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s vision and commitment to providing objective, relationship-driven solutions to help individuals build, protect and transition their wealth to future generations. Joining forces was a natural outcome.” Established in 1998 by Thomas J. Ross Jr., WMC provides objective, comprehensive, financial, investment and tax planning advice to ultra-high net worth individuals. These services include financial advice, estate and income tax planning, compensation and benefit planning and investment advisory services. WMC’s clients control over $2 billion of assets with approximately $450 million of assets under advisement through a sophisticated “open architecture” platform through Callan Associates, a nationally recognised institutional investment consultant. Tom Ross, President of WMC stated, “We had no plans to become part of a larger financial services firm, but I am truly excited to have found a professional organisation that shares our vision of quality advice and exceptional client service. I have admired Peapack-Gladstone Bank from afar for many years and have also known and respected both Doug Kennedy and John Babcock professionally for many years. I have complete confidence that combining our two practices will create a powerful, best-in-class, client-centric financial advisory organisation.” Peapack-Gladstone Bank operates as a commercial bank that provides private banking services to businesses, non-profits, and consumers. ealth Management Consultants (NJ), LLC provides financial, investment, and tax planning advice to ultra-high net worth individuals.

WithumSmith+Brown (USA) merged with Walsh, Jastrem & Browne, LLP (USA)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Financial advisory Date: March 2015
Walsh, Jastrem & Browne LLP (WJB), combined its practice with WithumSmith+Brown, PC (WS+B), a regional certified public accounting and consulting firm with 14 offices, 550 staff members and annual revenue of $105M, ranking in the top 30 firms in the country. Tom Walsh, who has served as WJB’s managing partner since 2000, Jim Browne, partner, and Steve Yardumian, partner, along with all WJB staff, will join the Withum team. WJB will become the Boston office of WithumSmith+Brown and will remain at its current location at 155 Seaport Boulevard, making it the largest accounting firm in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District. “We have been seeking the right strategic partner to enhance our presence in the New England area, and we found the perfect match with Walsh, Jastrem & Browne in terms of expertise, geographic location and culture,” says Bill Hagaman, the acquiring firm’s managing partner and CEO. “Boston and the New England region are at the forefront of industries such as healthcare, financial services, technology and life sciences, aligning perfectly with Withum’s current practice niches. Our new colleagues pride themselves on providing clients with outstanding service, which is the commitment made to all WithumSmith+Brown clients.” WJB provides accounting, audit, tax and consulting services to privately owned business, professional service firms, private investment partnerships and other financial services entities, employee benefit plans, non-profit organisations, individuals and estates. WithumSmith+Brown offers accounting and auditing services. The firm provides compliance, financial review, tax planning, business valuation, employee compensation, and estate, retirement, education, insurance, and investment planning services.

Market Tech Holdings Limited (Channel Islands) acquired a majority stake in Glispa GmbH (Germany)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Marketing consulting Date: March 2015
Market Tech Holdings Limited, the holding company that combines iconic real estate assets with an e-commerce business and owns and manages the main Camden Markets in Central London, is pleased to announce that it has acquired a controlling interest in Glispa GmbH, (“Glispa”) a leading Berlin-based international mobile marketing business, for an initial consideration of €25 million and a working capital payment of €7 million, totalling €32 million (the “Transaction”) with a further commitment to invest up to €20 million to accelerate Glispa’s future development. With Mobile Commerce (“m-commerce”) expected to become the dominant business model and account for approximately 70% of all mobile internet revenue by 2017, Glispa will play a key role within the Company’s digital strategy of becoming a full service solution provider for its own brands along with both current and future retailers, enabling it to deliver the Camden Market experience to a global m-commerce audience. Commenting on the Transaction, Charles Butler, Chief Executive of Market Tech, said: “This is a very exciting Transaction and I want to start by welcoming the talented team at Glispa to Market Tech and look forward to working with them. Glispa’s market-leading technologies and team will add significant value to Camden Market and our business. Its digital capabilities will take us one step closer to becoming a full service solution provider and support the reinvigoration of Camden Markets, where we are already making significant progress, enabling us to bring the markets to a global audience. Glispa GmbH provides digital advertising services. Market Tech Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, develops residential and commercial real estate properties in London, the United Kingdom.

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