Consulting Sector M&A Deals (April 20th – May 3rd)

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Wood Group Acquires Ingenious
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Engineering Consulting Date: April 22, 2016
Wood Group has acquired Ingenious Inc., a supplier of proprietary software and consulting services to the global chemical, oil & gas, and energy industries. The acquisition provides a strong MOM systems capability that builds upon and diversifies the capabilities of Wood Group Mustang’s automation and control business, within which it will operate. Ingenious’s software products consist of remote performance monitoring, production planning and scheduling, and training, including e-learning and training simulators for the process industries.
Founded in 2000 by Vibhu Sharma and Bharat Kamdar, Houston-based Ingenious provides consulting and engineering services to support software sales and non-software-related services such as process engineering, design and simulation, and process safety management. Ingenious has an office in Mumbai, India, that supports regional customers, executes international projects and assists in software development. The Mumbai operations expand the automation and control business’s geographic footprint and client relationships in Asia and the Middle East.
Wood Group will be able to leverage Ingenious’s strength in the operator training simulator market to enhance its control system simulators, training tools and services.

F&W Forestry Acquires London-based firm
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Management Consulting Date: April 21, 2016
Albany’s F&W Forestry Services greatly increased its global operations this week when officials with the forest management and consulting firm announced it had completed the acquisition of London-based O.C.S. Group Ltd.’s forestry and land subsidiaries.
The acquisition, which was announced via a press release Thursday, said the acquisition now gives F&W control of three new companies, including Fountains Forestry Inc., a forest management firm, and Fountains Lands Inc., a retail forest real estate firm, both of which are located in the Northeastern United States.
The deal also includes the purchase of Fountains Forestry UK Ltd., a forest management and real estate firm, operating in England, Scotland and Wales.
“The addition of the Fountains companies to the F&W family will improve and strengthen our ability to provide consistent and reasonably standardized service to our client base across a greater geographic region,” said F&W Forestry President Marshall Thomas. “This is a good fit for F&W’s strategy of being a U.S. and international provider of forestry services with local presence and expertise.”
The increased worldwide presence F&W gains from the deal is part of the company’s major expansions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S., and it also signifies the company’s first entry into the United Kingdom, thus giving the company one of the United States’ oldest and largest land management group holdings in Europe.
In addition to the seven new offices F&W gains through the acquisition, the company also has 25 offices it maintains in the U.S., Uruguay, Brazil and France. Despite the increased presence globally and within the U.S., F&W continues to have a strong connection to Southwest Georgia, having been founded in Albany in 1962.
In fact, Thomas referenced that fact after the announcement, mentioning how thrilled he was for the company’s employees in Albany who will be working in these new markets with the many new clients. “I’m really excited about the opportunity this provides for our staff in Albany, to expand the operations and activities into different parts of the country and around the world,” he said. Thomas also mentioned F&W’s core South Georgia customer base, saying that not only will the company’s local customers remain an important focus for the firm, he hopes the various skills and techniques the company’s employees learn while managing forests elsewhere will be of benefit to those clients. “Of course, F&W remains committed to its local clientele, which has been the source of all our recent growth,” said Thomas. “I think the knowledge we gain in these other locations will help us to better manage their forests here.”
Overall, the acquisition is quite a boon for the company as the O.C.S. Group purchase increases the size of F&W’s managed land portfolio, adding more than 535,000 acres of managed forests and woodlands to the 1.6 million acres it already manages in the U.S. and overseas. The deal also adds 50 employees, all of whom are being retained by F&W, to the company’s current labor force of roughly 185 employees. In the press release, Thomas said the retention of the employees and management from three companies was an important part of the acquisition, as it will allow F&W to provide quality and reliable service to its customers.

Atkins Acquires PP&T Segment of EnergySolutions
Size: Undisclosed Industry: Management Consulting Date: April 24, 2016
Atkins, the design, engineering and project management consultancy, has recently acquired the Projects, Products and Technology (PP&T) segment of EnergySolutions after receiving the necessary North American regulatory approvals.
PP&T is an innovative 650-person nuclear business that delivers a wide range of technical engineering and programme management services for the decontamination and decommissioning of high hazard government nuclear facilities.
PP&T is a market leader in designing solutions for the treatment and stabilisation of high, intermediate and low level nuclear waste in North America. Its proven track record of executing large and complex projects provides Atkins with immediate access to Tier 1 (nuclear site management) government contracts for the management and decommissioning of nuclear sites in North America. The acquisition enhances Atkins’ market presence in the UK. PP&T’s skills and capabilities, combined with its proven Tier 1 track record, will also serve to strengthen Atkins’ positioning for future decommissioning opportunities across Europe.
At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan, PP&T has provided technology for the cleanup of radioactivity contaminated water. Atkins has acquired PP&T for an enterprise value of USD 318M and will be funded through Atkins’ existing cash resources and available committed bank facilities.

Werum IT Acquires Factorytalk’s MES Business
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: April 28, 2016
Werum will be able to provide a comprehensive solution hub for the benefit of its existing and new clients in Asia. Werum IT Solutions, a leading international supplier of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) software for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, and Factorytalk Co, Thailand, a leading consulting company for pharma manufacturers in Southeast Asia, have jointly announced the complete transfer of Factorytalk’s MES business to Werum’s corporate organisation. All current Factorytalk MES employees, many of whom are long-term experienced MES experts, will transfer into the newly established subsidiary Werum IT Solutions in Bangkok, Thailand. Factorytalk’s ten-year long collaboration with Werum and proven track record of success in implementing Werum’s PAS-X MES working with qualified locally-based consultants are the solid platform on which the business transfer is built. Through this initiative Werum can thus provide a fully integrated and comprehensive solution hub for the benefit of Werum’s existing and new clients in Asia.

Manetta Merges with Harris Beach Advisory
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Management Consulting Date: April 29, 2016
The former executive director of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has merged his Melville consulting company, Standard Advisors Group, with HB Solutions LLC, a non-legal consulting affiliate of Rochester-based Harris Beach. The law firm, which represents 10 of the Fortune 25 companies, was founded in 1856 and maintains offices across Upstate New York and in Melville, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut.
As economic development and public affairs consultant, Manetta will continue to operate his Melville practice under the HB Solutions flag. His primary mission will be to lead downstate development of the Harris Beach spinoff, which provides strategic consulting for public and private organizations across numerous industries.
“It’s really exciting,” Manetta told Innovate LI. “This is a great opportunity to be part of a larger platform and have a support team in place that will enable even greater services to my clients, and to HB Solutions’ clients.
“HB Solutions is primarily rooted out of their upstate offices, so as the law firm has been growing downstate in Nassau and Suffolk counties, having this type of consulting service to help with those clients and bring in new ones makes a lot of sense,” he added. “There’s a world of opportunity down here.” In particular, the new HB Solutions consultant noted rich Long Island-based opportunities in real estate redevelopment, as well as in helping startup companies in the region’s flourishing biotech and high-tech sectors “understand the corporate-development opportunities out there.”
Manetta’s familiarity with the rigors of Long Island’s business climate will go a long way toward helping HB Solutions’ clients meet “key business objectives,” according to Keith Brown, a partner in Harris Beach’s Melville office. “Anthony is a highly respected and well-known consultant among Long Island’s business community,” Brown said in a statement.  “We have known Anthony for many years and it is a pleasure to have him on board.”
Harris Beach established HB Solutions to help the law firm’s clients address their strategic, operational and organizational needs, with particular attention paid to the Affordable Care Act, energy, human resources and other key corporate issues. It’s familiar turf for Manetta, who launched Standard Advisors Group – which focuses primarily on real estate matters and public-private partnerships – after stepping down from the Suffolk IDA in 2014. A longtime champion of the manufacturing, pharmaceutical and technology sectors, Manetta – who earned an MBA in corporate finance from Dowling College in 2008 – has served as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio and former Suffolk County Legislator Andrew Crecca. He’s also an entrepreneur, launching Islandia-based public affairs and corporate advisory consulting firm Roosevelt Strategies Group in 2001.

Washington D.C.-based Brittenford Systems, Inc. Joins Wipfli LLP
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Business Consulting Date: May 02, 2016
Wipfli LLP (Wipfli), one of the top 20 accounting and consulting firms in the United States, announced today that Brittenford Systems, Inc. joined the firm effective May 1. Brittenford Systems, Inc., a firm headquartered in Reston, Virginia, provides accounting system, enterprise performance management, and CIO Advisory services to small and mid-market businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“The addition of the seasoned professionals and extensive software development expertise of Brittenford Systems, Inc. will strengthen the firm’s ability to provide even more innovative solutions to our clients, helping them face their challenges today and well into the future,” said Rick Dreher, managing partner of Wipfli LLP. “While this merger will greatly enhance our firm and its consulting practice, it holds even greater benefits for our clients.”
Brittenford Systems, Inc. specializes in providing financial system and accounting software implementations and support services to hundreds of businesses and organizations around the country, focusing specifically on Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics GP and cloud-based Intacct and Host Analytics, as well as Brittenford’s own third-party products. The majority of the firm’s clients are small and mid-market businesses, nonprofit organizations, government contractors, professional services firms and international businesses. As part of this combination, approximately 30 Brittenford Systems, Inc. professionals, including chief executive officer Shereen Mahoney, have joined Wipfli. Founded in 1997, Brittenford Systems, Inc. has one office located in Reston, Virginia (Washington D.C. area), but provides financial system and accounting software implementations and support services to hundreds of businesses and organizations around the country.
Shereen Mahoney, chief executive officer of Brittenford Systems, Inc., said, “Combining Brittenford Systems’ deep implementation and third-party enhancement expertise with Wipfli’s broad consulting capabilities and vast resources will help us to continue to help our clients to succeed in the ever-changing marketplace. We are excited to join Wipfli and for what the future holds for our combined firm and all of our clients.” The combined firm will have over 1,500 associates, including 184 partners, 35 office locations in the United States and India.

Bivarus, Inc. Acquires The Jackson Group, Inc.
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Healthcare Consulting Date: May 03, 2016
Bivarus, Inc., a patient experience analytics company, announced today that it has acquired The Jackson Group, Inc., a leading healthcare-focused measurement and consulting firm. The acquisition expands Bivarus’s offerings to capture and operationalize patient and employee insights for healthcare organizations and adds CAHPS® administration and related consulting services.
The Jackson Group was founded in 1976 in Hickory, North Carolina, to provide measurement, analysis and consulting services to healthcare organizations, commercial business and government agencies with a focus on the patient and customer experience, employee engagement and workplace culture and community and market perceptions. The Jackson Group is one of only 37 vendors in the United States approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to participate in the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) program, which is a mandatory survey program for an ever-increasing number of healthcare organizations.
“It was crucial for us to find a partner with established expertise, a reputation for quality and differentiated service offerings in the healthcare field,” explained David Levin, Bivarus CEO. “The Jackson Group is the perfect partner, and not only do our teams complement each other operationally, we are aligned culturally. You can feel the energy among all staff to build, refine and deliver real solutions to our customers.”
“Bivarus has created an entirely new approach for delivering the insights our healthcare customers need to inform and improve day-to-day practices and long-term strategies,” said Tony Jackson, founder of The Jackson Group. “The relationships with customers that my family’s team has built over 40 years will benefit immensely from access to the measurement technology that Bivarus has built. It is an incredible opportunity for our combined company to have a continuous impact in healthcare delivery.”
Following the acquisition, Alan Jackson, President/CEO, The Jackson Group, will serve as Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Bivarus, bringing his extensive knowledge to the executive team. In this role, Alan will have day-to-day operational responsibilities for maintaining and developing customer relationships that create value for the customer as well as creating a customer-centric culture. Tony Jackson will serve the company in a strategic advisory capacity. All other team members will continue in their current roles with the same organizational reporting structure.
By joining forces with The Jackson Group, Bivarus now provides more than 175 customer organizations with comprehensive, cost-effective, technology-enabled solutions to capture and deliver actionable data and insights. Bivarus will maintain its headquarters in Durham, NC, with additional operations in Hickory, NC. As a result of this combination, Bivarus now employs 54 people and will continue to bring on new hires in sales, product engineering and customer success.

PwC acquires MidEast Construction Firm
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Engineering Consulting Date: May 03, 2016
PwC has bought a Middle East construction firm that specialises in construction disputes, to help it serve an increasingly litigious market. The ‘Big Four’ professional services firm acquired HLP Consulting on May 1. The company specialises in claims preparation and analysis, dispute resolution, expert witness, contract management and commercial management services to the construction industry and energy sectors. It is active across the region, including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as other international locations. Under the deal, HLP Directors Mike Harding, Simon Lowe, Alastair Gray, Shaun Crawley and their teams joined PwC Middle East from 1 May, PwC announced in a statement. Construction disputes in the Middle East rose to their highest level in 2014 since 2011, according to data from Arcadis last year, with the average value of disputes soaring 88 percent to $76.7 million in 2014.
PwC said the acquisition would “bolster its existing capabilities in the region and enable it to better serve clients’ needs”.
John Wilkinson, PwC deals leader for Middle East Region and senior partner, forensic services said: “With falling oil prices, we are likely to see an increase in construction-related disputes and with this acquisition we seek to better serve and equip our clients.”
HLP Consulting’s principal director Mike Harding added: “Joining PwC is strategically the right choice. We wanted to join a firm with an established growth track record and with aspirations and values that matched our own.
“HLP as a business has grown significantly over the past few years and now is the right time to join to access the wider PwC international network and investment that will enable us to develop the business further.”

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