Consulting sector M&A deals (March 8th – March 21st)

businessman doing handstand on the beachAdecco Shrugs Off `Brexit’ Risk to Buy Staffing Company Penna
Deal Size: $149 Million Industry: Human Resources Consulting Date: March 9, 2016
Adecco SA, the world’s largest provider of temporary staff, agreed to buy Penna Consulting Plc for about 105.3 million pounds ($149 million) as it seeks to strengthen its No. 1 position in the U.K. market.
Britain, which on June 23 will vote on whether to stay in the European Union, remains a strategic market for Adecco in spite of the upcoming referendum, Chief Executive Officer Alain Dehaze said, adding that the company is looking for other opportunities there. Adecco agreed to pay 365 pence a share for Penna, 62 percent higher than the average price over the past 12 months. The acquisition comes as European business leaders including Akzo Nobel NV Chief Executive Officer Ton Buechner have said a so-called Brexit will make it more difficult to rotate workers through the U.K. Britain, together with Ireland, is Adecco’s third-largest market and posted a 1 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, the company said in an earnings report. “Lack of visibility is never good for economic growth and therefore not good for employment,” Dehaze said in a telephone interview. “I don’t support Brexit. Europe needs the U.K., and the U.K. needs Europe.” The uncertainty leading up to the referendum could be more damaging to the U.K.’s staffing industry than the outcome itself, deterring employers from making investment decisions or employees from moving jobs, Penna CEO Gary Browning said by telephone. “From a staffing perspective, we have always been blessed in the U.K. to have a highly flexible labor market allowing everything from permanent people to temporaries to interims and contractors. We do well when there is lots of mobility in employment markets.”
The Penna deal is expected to close in the second quarter, Glattbrugg, Switzerland-based Adecco said in a statement Wednesday.
(http://www.bloomberg.com)

HCTec buys Colorado-based consultancy
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT & Management Consulting Date: March 8, 2016
Franklin-based HCTec Partners bought HIMS Consulting Group, out of Colorado, to expand its focus on electronic medical records. Electronic medical records are an expensive and increasingly important investment for hospitals and medical practices. The federal government is rolling out an initiative to better link systems so patient information can travel more freely, improving efficiency and care. HCTec, a health care staffing and consultancy, helps clients with a variety of information technology and management services, including transitioning to and optimizing new systems, coding and auditing and documentation improvement. It had an EMR presence but wanted a deeper reach into the sector, said Jennifer Renshaw, marketing manager. “This is a very exciting opportunity for our company to grow exponentially,” said HCTec CEO William Bartholomew in a statement. “The combination of HIMS and HCTec will allow us to better serve our clients, enhance efficiencies and create innovative solutions.” The acquisition expands the Franklin consultancy’s footprint to the West. It’s now got regional offices in Tampa, Cincinnati and Steamboat Springs, Colo. The purchase increases HCTec’s corporate employees from 113 to 158 and the number of consultants from 694 to 831. HIMS will take on the HCTec name. Erich Strotbeck is general manager of HIMS. HCTec merged with Partner Professional Solutions, based in Cincinnati, in 2013.
(http://www.tennessean.com)

PBS Engineering & Environmental to acquire HDJ Design Group
Size: Undisclosed Industry: Engineering Consulting Date: March 09, 2016
Two local consulting firms will soon become one as PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. (PBS) plans to acquire HDJ Design Group (HDJ). The companies announced the acquisition on Wednesday, effective April 1.
According to Mark Leece, principal of engineering at PBS, combining the two firms allows both to expand their market share within the engineering industry. PBS, which is headquartered in Portland with an office in Vancouver, provides geotechnical, environmental and industrial hygiene services. Vancouver-based HDJ specializes in civil engineering, planning and land surveying services, and has offices in Walla Walla and Pasco. “We’re particularly excited about positive impacts this will have on both existing and prospective clients,” said Leece. “Bringing our firms together allows both companies to offer a wider range of comprehensive services, deepens our engineering capabilities, gives us better geographic coverage, increased manpower, and the ability to service more client needs in-house.” “Because we complement each other’s expertise and our cultures are compatible, combining our talented teams makes perfect sense,” added Guy Neal, president of Portland-headquartered PBS. “We’re building upon 15 years of collaboration between our firms, most recently working together on the major Vancouver Waterfront Development.” Gregory Jellison, principal engineer of Vancouver-based HDJ, said the scale and complexity of the $1.5 billion Vancouver Waterfront Development has allowed the two firms to fully harmonize their capabilities. “While HDJ worked on the entire master plan and infrastructure design [of the Vancouver Waterfront Development], PBS was able to run right alongside us, offering seamless geotechnical engineering and environmental services,” said Jellison. In addition to offering more services to its client base, Neal said the merger will allow for better opportunities to invest in the local community. “We will continue to strengthen relationships with STEM programs regionally, as well as our engineering internship programs in Oregon and Washington,” he said. “We believe these efforts are critical to fostering the development of engineers from grade school, on. “We are proud to be a part of the engineering community,” Neal added. “We are excited about the new opportunities to engage with the industry as a whole during this exciting new chapter in our company’s history.”
(http://www.vbjusa.com)

Lincoln Computer Acquires Long Island IT Consulting Firm
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: March 10, 2016
US-based managed services and technology infrastructure solutions company Lincoln Computer Services has acquired Long Island-based IT managed services provider J. Lack Consulting Technology Management, the company said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lincoln said it strategy to fully assimilate with its most recent procurement will secure the addition of new team members to its emerging workforce, and substantially extend its footprint in the New York tristate area. The company will gain an office in East Hampton adding to current locations in Hicksville and Manhattan delivering full-service coverage to all of the New York City Boroughs, Nassau County, Western Suffolk County and the entire East End encompassing the Hamptons, the North Folk and Orient Point. Founded in 1998 as a systems integration consulting firm, Lincoln has evolved into an IT business consultancy with a solution focus.
(http://www.bloomberg.com)

Harte Hanks Acquires Marketing Consulting Firm
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Marketing & IT Consulting Date: March 10, 2016
Harte Hanks (NYSE: HHS), a provider in customer engagement and interaction-led marketing, announced the acquisition of Aleutian Consulting, Inc., a marketing consulting firm, accelerating Harte Hanks’ strategic goal of leadership in smarter customer interactions. Purchase details were not disclosed but Harte Hanks expects this transaction to be accretive to 2016 performance. Aleutian Consulting, which will operate as Harte Hanks Consulting, provides go-to-market strategy consulting services combined with a proprietary fact-based, data-driven analytics approach. This focus on revenue growth through enhanced marketing technology and advanced pricing and sales enablement capabilities, drives meaningful top and bottom line growth for its clients.
Harte Hanks Consulting will continue to offer expertise in product, pricing, channel optimization and promotion design. Based in Denver, Colorado, this team serves Fortune 500 clients, primarily in the telecommunications and technology industries. In conjunction with the acquisition of Aleutian Consulting, Harte Hanks has opened a new office in downtown Denver to accommodate Aleutian’s Denver-based consulting staff and Denver-based Harte Hanks employees. “We are delighted to be joining Harte Hanks,” said, Aleutian Consulting Managing Partner and Founder, Garrett Sznip. “This partnership allows us to offer data-driven strategic insights across a broader range of clients and ultimately, deliver more value to Harte Hanks’ clients.”
(http://www.contactcenterworld.com)

Dentsu Aegis Network acquires North American data consulting firm Cardinal Path
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: March 10, 2016
In response to a growing need for comprehensive, credible data solutions to help clients succeed in the digital economy, Dentsu Aegis Network today announces the acquisition of Cardinal Path, an award-winning digital data consulting firm in the US and Canada. Cardinal Path helps brands navigate a variety of data-related challenges and deliver competitive advantage through strong data and analytics. The addition of Cardinal Path will further enhance Dentsu Aegis Network’s analytics offering across North America. Co-headquartered in Chicago and Vancouver, and with additional offices in Phoenix and Toronto, Cardinal Path was founded in 2011 as a merger of three web analytics and digital intelligence firms: Ottawa-based PublicInsite, Vancouver-based VKI Studios and Arizona-based WebShare. With a strong heritage in web analytics, Cardinal Path has evolved to offer a suite of advanced data and analytics services categorised as strategic, business and technical to high-end clients including Google, Intel, Bridgestone and others. In 2015, the agency was named “Most Influential Agency/Vendor of the Year” by the Digital Analytics Association, joining the ranks of Google Analytics and Adobe with this honour. Cardinal Path’s strong team of 80 digital specialists will continue to operate under the successful leadership of President and Co-Founder John Hossack, with his Senior Partners and Co-Founders David Booth, David Eckman, Corey Koberg, and Alex Langshur, as well as Chief Financial Officer Greg Dos Santos.
Following the acquisition, John Hossack will report jointly into Robert Horler, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network USA, and Annette Warring, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Canada.
“The acquisition of Cardinal Path will significantly enhance our North American data service offering, bringing with it a strong leadership team of data scientists, creditable expertise in data and analytics, and a global client portfolio. Cardinal Path will allow us to leap forward our data strategy in North America,” said Horler.
“Cardinal Path has the capabilities and vision to simplify the complexity of big data and make it significantly more relevant and actionable in communications,” commented Warring. “We need to quickly move beyond analytics that measure discrete capabilities to analytics that can measure the holistic communications and content ecosystem. An agency rooted in digital analytics is best suited to drive this development, which is what we have found in Cardinal Path,” she added. “Our goal is to embed a data-driven philosophy into the very culture of the organisations we serve,” said John Hossack, President & Co-Founder, Cardinal Path. “As part of Dentsu Aegis Network, comprising the world’s best media, digital and creative agencies, we are able to push the limits of digital, marketing and analytics even further, by drawing on the strengths of a global team and harmonising this data-centric mindset in all we do,” he added.
(https://www.dentsuaegisnetwork.com)

IBM Acquires Optevia, Expanding Role as Solutions Provider for Public Sector Clients
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: March 18, 2016
IBM announced that it has acquired Optevia, a privately owned Software as a service, (SaaS), systems integrator specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions for public sector organizations. Optevia will join IBM Global Business Services and help meet the increasing client demand for CRM SaaS solutions within the public sector.
Industry experts estimate that the world-wide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) opportunity is in excess of $23B, with cloud-based CRM solutions expected to surpass 50 percent of that total. The acquisition of Optevia, will help IBM establish itself as a premier SaaS and digital consultant and accelerate leadership in CRM solutions. Optevia’s main focus on UK Emergency Services, Central Government, Local Government, Health Authorities and Housing and Social Enterprises, allows them to offer their clients highly differentiated solutions. Optevia’s client base includes ministries, councils, regulators, licensing and grant management organizations, transport authorities and social housing organizations.
“By acquiring Optevia, IBM will be able to provide Public Sector clients and prospects with a range of unique, industry focused CRM based solutions,”said Joanna Davinson, IBM Public Sector Leader – Europe. “This strategic acquisition will help strengthen IBM as a SaaS provider and Global Software Integrator.”
Since its founding in 2001, Optevia has rapidly established itself as a trusted partner for Public Sector and Social Enterprise clients. The acquisition will allow IBM to scale Optevia’s solutions across other areas worldwide, where Optevia’s software, assets and highly skilled, industry-focused workforce, coupled with their expertise will significantly increase IBM’s current capabilities.
(http://www-03.ibm.com)

Pennoni acquires McCarthy and Associates, Inc.
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Engineering Consulting Date: March 14, 2016
Pennoni acquired structural engineering consulting firm McCarthy and Associates, Inc., of Clearwater and Delray Beach, Fla. The firm will now do business as McCarthy and Associates, a Division of Pennoni. With the addition of this firm, Pennoni is strengthening its recently established presence in the state of Florida.
Founded in 1985 by Michael “Mike” McCarthy, the firm provides structural analysis, design, and construction inspection services to private and public clients throughout the United States and the Caribbean Islands. Their project portfolio includes a variety of commercial buildings, public establishments, churches, and medical facilities. With several certified inspectors, the firm also provides special inspections on their state-designated threshold projects. McCarthy will join Pennoni as an Associate Vice President.
“McCarthy and Associates has built a reputation as a firm that is community and client orientated, values that are distinctive to Pennoni,” said Director of Strategic Growth Joseph Viscuso, PE. “Their knowledge and skill in structural engineering, and their innovative thinking in areas such as hurricane analysis demonstrates their value our industry.”
Unique to the firm, McCarthy and Associates offers in-depth expertise in hurricane analysis and design. After Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc on southeast Florida in 1992, firm founder McCarthy joined a team of experts to evaluate damage to commercial buildings affected by the storm. Since then, the firm has been an expert in both assessing structures for hurricane damage and designing new buildings and storm shelters that can withstand extreme winds.
“In joining Pennoni, we’re excited to continue offering our services and more to a growing list of clients,” said McCarthy. “We have tremendous opportunities available for the future, and I’m looking forward to doing so with Pennoni’s support.” (http://cenews.com)

Persistent Systems acquires Australia’s PRM Cloud Solutions
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: March 16, 2016
Pune-based Persistent Systems has acquired Australia-based PRM Cloud Solutions, a certified Salesforce consulting partner. The company did not disclose the valuation of the deal. PRM is among Australia’s leading Salesforce partners and cloud application development firms, focussed on building digital experiences on Salesforce1 cloud platform.
PRM primarily focuses on healthcare, construction and property management, with key customers that include Honda, Rio Tinto, Furniture Options, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), Synergy and Workpower. Anand Deshpande, CMD, Persistent Systems said, “Digital is built on three pillars; data, APIs and platforms. This acquisition further strengthens our ability to lead our customers on their journey to digital with Salesforce as one of those key platforms.” (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Leading Energy Consultancy Drives Growth through Acquisition
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Energy Consulting Date: March 10, 2016
The North East’s largest independent commercial energy consultancy has announced the purchase of a similar well-established energy business as part of the company’s national growth strategy. Green Energy Consulting – based in Gateshead – has successfully acquired Lincolnshire based Energy Management Services (EMS), an independent consultancy and brokerage in the regulated and de-regulated electricity and natural gas markets. Priding itself on providing accessible and affordable green energy supply to the commercial mass market, Green Energy Consulting has grown at a considerable rate since first established in 2012, with turnover growing 400% year on year. The acquisition of EMS, which started life over 20 years ago, will allow the company to deliver against its business plans of moving into new markets, including the agricultural, holiday village and caravan sectors. Speaking about the acquisition, Kilian Coyne, Director at Green Energy Consulting said: “When we formed the company our mission was to help businesses throughout the country achieve their carbon reduction objectives by switching to sustainable green energy at an affordable – if not cheaper – rate and without compromise. “We have made this possible for many companies including major retailers, registered charities and councils and now is the time for us to expand our horizons and enter new markets. In doing so – with an already successful and well-known consultancy service – we can deliver our extensive offering to new markets that have high energy consumption, in turn helping them to go green and reach their carbon reduction targets. “We are extremely impressed by EMS’ capabilities and experience in the industry. They have built a considerable reputation fulfilling their customer’s energy needs – and, as such, a lot of the company’s new business is generated through customer referrals – a real testament to their exceptional service delivery.”
To cater for the company’s growing needs, Green Energy Consulting has recently moved into new, larger premises comprising over 6800 sq. feet. The business is on track to achieve annual revenues of £1.2m in the coming year, with further organic growth expected and doubling of staff to over 50 by the end of the year. Kilian added: “Like Green Energy Consulting, EMS is very much customer focused, delivering a flexible approach to fulfilling client requirements. The aim of both companies has always been, and will continue to be, about securing the most competitive energy contracts with energy suppliers across the UK. And as companies strive to become more sustainable, we will guarantee suppling the most cost effective solution to deliver tangible cost savings for our clients.”
“We are extremely delighted to have acquired the company and we believe, through combined knowledge and capabilities, we are only going to add significant value to our growing client bases.” Green Energy Consulting work with clients on all energy issues delivering a full end to end service from procurement through to implementing energy management and consumption reduction strategies. The company boasts a host of clients including Christian Dior, H&M, BP, William Hill and Yorkshire Building Society.
(http://neconnected.co.uk)

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