Consulting Sector M&A Deals (July 5th – July 18th)

businessman doing handstand on the beach
BTS acquires two Italian companies and strengthens Southern European position
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Professional Services Date: July 6, 2016

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BTS GROUP AB (publ), – BTS, a leading global strategy implementation firm, acquires the operations and certain assets and liabilities from Cesim Italia Srl and Design Innovation Srl based in Milan, Italy.

Cesim Italia, with some 34 employees and contractors earning revenues of about 3.5 MEUR 2015, offers Business Acumen, Leadership, Innovation, Change Management training and consulting services. Design Innovation is a boutique design house with six employees and revenues of about 0.5 MEUR specializing in innovation and design consulting services. Both companies have a long history of repeatedly serving major Italian companies.

BTS acquires the operations of both companies including talent, technology, intellectual property, brands and equipment on a cash and debt free basis. The purchase price includes an upfront cash payment of 1.7 MEUR. An additional payment estimated at 3.5 MEUR including some 0.6 MEUR in new BTS shares will be paid out, provided the purchased operations meet specific targets 2016-2020. The acquisitions are estimated to have a positive impact on BTS’s earnings per share in 2016.

Dr. Philios Andreou , President of BTS Other Markets, including Southern Europe, states “With this acquisition our position in Southern Europe improves substantially as it gives us immediate access to over 40 top Italian clients. It also provides a strong Italian platform with additional talent and innovation solutions. In addition, the acquisitions will translate into a great opportunity to service many of the major Italian companies globally.”

“We are excited to become a part of the BTS family. We share the same values and business approach which will make for an excellent cultural fit. The global footprint of BTS, its products and experiences will also be a great opportunity for our customers and colleagues,” says Gianfranco Di Maira, one of the two owners and new Head of the merged BTS Italia.

“We believe our offering of tangible product and service design solutions complements BTS’s innovation alignment and execution services,” says Marco Rosetti, the other owner who will head up the Design Innovation operation and BTS’s innovation practice in Italy.

The transactions have been completed through BTS’s Spanish subsidiary, Business Training Solutions S.L. BTS’s strategy for acquisitions aims to create a broader base for future organic growth while actively consolidating a highly fragmented market. Through its acquisitions, BTS also seeks to serve new and existing customers with innovative services based on next generation, digital technologies.

California Clean Power consulting firm sold to Pilot Power Group of San Diego
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Energy Date: July 6, 2016

California Clean Power, a business that helped cities and counties in starting their own power programs, announced Tuesday that its key assets have been acquired by a San Diego company that provides a range of energy services.

The Windsor company, which formed in late 2014, had its assets purchased by Pilot Power Group, said California Clean Power CEO Peter Rumble.

“I think it’s an indication of the value that we created,” Rumble said of the acquisition.

He described Pilot as a company that helps large businesses and institutions such as universities procure power directly rather than purchase it from local utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

The acquisition of California Clean Power will further enhance Pilot’s ability to help local governments seeking to begin programs like Sonoma Clean Power, a public program that supplies electricity to local homes and businesses.

Of Pilot, Rumble said, “They’re truly a one-stop shop for communities that want to do community choice.”

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Representatives for Pilot were unavailable Tuesday evening. The local company formed after the county launched Sonoma Clean Power two years ago. The community choice program seeks to provide local customers with less polluting forms of electricity than those available via PG&E.

Rumble left his job as a deputy county administrator in order to form California Clean Power with four other owners: Bill Gallaher, managing director of Oakmont Senior Living; former North Coast congressman Doug Bosco, a principal investor in Sonoma Media Investments, which owns The Press Democrat; Komron Shahhosseini, a county planning commissioner and a partner in Oakmont Senior Living; and Jonathan Kathrein, a law clerk for Bosco who had served on the steering committee for Sonoma Clean Power.

California Clean Power had the equivalent of about 10 full-time employees. Rumble said some staff will continue with Pilot, but he could not provide further details.

Athalye Consulting Engineering Services, Inc. joins TranSystems Corporation
Size: Undisclosed Industry: Engineering Date: July 7, 2016

Kansas City, Mo. — TranSystems Corporation, a national consulting firm that provides engineering, architectural and planning solutions to the transportation marketplace, acquired Athalye Consulting Engineering Services, Inc. (ACES), a Southern California consulting firm specializing in transportation construction engineering and design services.

Established in 1991 as an engineering design firm, ACES has since grown to provide engineering design, comprehensive construction inspection and project management services for various highway-related construction programs that are key to the region’s transportation infrastructure.

“Athalye’s strong expertise in highway and bridge design, construction management and inspection, along with their foothold in Southern California complements TranSystems’ transportation focus,” said TranSystems CEO Richard Morsches. “This is a great arrangement for both firms and our clients will reap the benefits of our expanded service offerings.”

The addition of this firm leverages TranSystems’ strong design and construction engineering offerings. TranSystems has excelled in the planning, design and management of some of the largest transportation projects in the nation, including Hartford’s I-84 Viaduct Replacement plan, Chicago’s Wacker Drive and Congress Parkway Interchange Reconstruction, and the Port of Los Angeles Intermodal Container Facility.

“Athalye is pleased to announce its merger with TranSystems, an Engineering News-Record top-ranked national transportation and transit engineering specialty firm,” said Ashok Athalye, ACES CEO and President. “Our outstanding record in construction and engineering design services in California will be further enhanced by TranSystems’ significant national presence, depth and expertise in transit, bridges and highway design services. TranSystems and ACES’ ‘client first’ mentality and emphasis on improving quality will result in overall client satisfaction.”

Crestwood Associates to Merge with Consulting Firm Stanley Stuart Yoffee and Hendrix
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: July 8, 2016

US-based CRM solutions company Crestwood Associates LLC has entered into a merger agreement with the Florida-based Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica consulting firm Stanley Stuart Yoffee and Hendrix, Inc., the company said.

SSYH will operate under the Crestwood Associates name, keeping offices in Maitland and Ft. Lauderdale. Crestwood Associates and SSYH both provide Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica accounting and business management solutions to mid-sized companies, which makes this a great opportunity for both organizations and their customers. Crestwood and SSYH have extended their market reach through this strategic merger.

The addition of SSYH’s thriving Dynamics and Acumatica practice, along with a significant client base across Central and South Florida, enables both firms to deliver more services to a greater number of clients. Angela Stuart Mills, Owner and chief executive officer, will join Crestwood as director of product development.

SSYH has welcomed its customers to the new firm and they are available to answer any questions they may have about the transition or about Crestwood.

Crestwood Associates LLC provides ERP and CRM solutions to mid-size companies. Founded in 1998 with its primary office located in Mount Prospect, Illinois, Crestwood serves companies throughout the US with offices in Madison, Wisconsin, South Bend, Indiana, and Farmington Hills, Michigan and now Maitland and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Crestwood partners with clients to deliver comprehensive business solutions that support their business strategies. The company focuses on delivering Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Acumatica and Greentree applications.

GZA Acquires Rose and Westra
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Environmental & Engineering Consulting Date: July 13, 2016

GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., a leading environmental and geotechnical consulting firm, announced that following the completion of a business transaction, Rose and Westra of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will now operate as a division of GZA.

As such, the Principals and entire staff of Rose and Westra have joined the GZA team and will continue to operate from their home base in Grand Rapids. For more than 25 years Rose and Westra has been recognized for providing environmental engineering and consulting services to a wide-range of clients in both the private and public sectors across Western Michigan and adjoining areas. Primary services include commercial/indusRW New Logotrial real estate property assessments; environmental process design; wastewater management; site development/redevelopment; regulatory compliance; and environmental investigation and remediation.

Bryan Rose and Mark Westra will join GZA as Principals; the technical staff of Rose and Westra will also join GZA and continue serving their traditional clients. GZA will combine its present Grand Rapids staff with the Rose and Westra team into a single location within a few months, creating a unified presence within the local markets.

“We are pleased to welcome the Rose and Westra staff to the GZA team,” said William Hadge, CEO of GZA. “Their diverse experience and consulting expertise will allow us to grow and enhance our existing services in the Western Michigan area and throughout the entire Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

EarthLink Acquires Boston Retail Partners
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: July 14, 2016

EarthLink Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:ELNK), a leading network services provider dedicated to delivering great customer experiences, today announced it has acquired Boston Retail Partners, LLC, a highly regarded management consulting firm focused on the retail vertical. BRP’s experienced consultants work with leading retailers to deliver strategic solutions that address the business and technology challenges unique to the industry. BRP provides technology strategy and consulting across the full breadth of retail solutions, including point of sale, e-commerce, customer relationship management, mobile, payment security, enterprise resource planning, order management and supply chain.

Together, EarthLink and BRP will extend EarthLink’s capabilities in the retail sector to provide clients with deep expertise and end-to-end technology solutions that address the entire retail organization and improve customer engagement and loyalty. The transaction is part of EarthLink’s ongoing strategy to provide deep vertical expertise to its clients and to strategically expand its consulting portfolio with end-to-end solutions to best serve client needs.“Retailers today often struggle with leveraging technology to create the retail experience of the future, including the shift to cloud-based solutions, the rapid rise of mobile, increasing bandwidth requirements and the prevalence of legacy systems. Many large retailers have relied on BRPs’ expertise and talented people to navigate these challenges,” said Joe Eazor, Chief Executive Officer and President of EarthLink. “We are excited to bring together our deep network expertise with BRPs’ proven track record of success in order to enhance our already strong presence in this space.”“Customers expect a consistent, personalized and satisfying shopping experience wherever, whenever and however they shop, and retailers need a robust, fast, reliable, resilient network infrastructure to enable this real-time retail experience,” said Ken Morris, Principal, BRP.

“Delivering on that experience requires a different approach that sets the stage for unified commerce. According to our recent Customer Experience Survey, 75% of retailers indicated they have implemented or plan to implement a single, unified commerce platform within the next three years. Leveraging EarthLink’s network services and solutions with BRP’s retail expertise enhances our ability to help retailers successfully implement comprehensive unified commerce solutions that enable real-time retail.”

EY and PwC acquire financial consultancies in Belgium
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: Management Consulting Date: July 18, 2016

Big Four firms EY and PwC have closed two acquisitions in Belgium: EY has acquired A-THREE, a consulting firm specialised in preventing ’revenue leakage’, while rival PwC has snapped up Handson & Partners, a tax compliance and accounting services provider.

PwC and Handson & Partners:

Handson & Partners was founded in 2002 (the firm has roots in one of the large audit and consultancy firms) and has since grown to a team of 80 professionals, generating revenues of around €9 million. The company offers a broad spectrum of services in two key areas: a wide range of staffing services with people with an accounting and financial background; and a local accounting practice – often called a ‘fiduciary practice’. Handson & Partners works predominantly for family owned businesses and start-ups.

With the acquisition, PwC grows its footprint in the segment for small and mid-sized enterprises, an area which it traditionally has less visibility in. “PwC has for too long been seen by some companies as a service provider solely for big multinationals. We believe that a significant part of the growth in Belgium will come from the dynamism of family owned businesses and start-ups, and we’re committed to helping these businesses succeed in their ambitions. What we were missing in Belgium is a price effective ‘hands on’ offering to our local clients. With Handson & Partners we now have a very competitive service offering for that segment,” says Philippe Vyncke, National Market Leader at PwC Belgium. The move follows a range of initiatives already taken to intensify its ties with SME’s, including the opening of a new office in Hasselt last year, with another hub to open in Charleroi in the weeks to come, as well as support committed to several start-up (e.g. accelerators, incubators) and scale-up initiatives in the country.

Peter Van Rooy, Managing Partner at Handson & Partners, says he is delighted to be joining forces with PwC. “Being part of the PwC network will create a range of opportunities and access to knowledge and services for our clients and employees that we would not have had, had we remained an independent organisation.”

Handson & Partners will operate as a 100% subsidiary of PwC but not be fully integrated into the firm’s organisation. “We will continue to be run as a stand-alone business within the PwC network and continue to work from our office in Antwerpen,” comments Van Rooy.


A-THREE was founded in 2010 by Ludwig Bollaerts and Steve Van der Steen, and in recent years has grown into one of Belgium’s leading start-ups in the area of ‘revenue leakage’ – the firm specialises in detecting, recovering and preventing the phenomenon. According to a recent study in the country, despite regular controls by in-house financial departments, automated ERP systems, strict internal and external audits, companies – regardless of size or sector – are faced with ‘leakage’ through which revenue simply ‘evaporates’. The researchers found that between 1% to 5% of gross profit of Belgian corporates slips unnoticed through their fingers, a feat which comes with a hefty price tag: up to an estimated €2 billion in gross profit is said to be lost within the premises of the country’s top 500 enterprises.

The deal, according to Rudi Braes, CEO and Chairman of EY Belgium, underlines the firm’s strategy to selectively invest in specific niche areas that have immediate added value for the client. “This acquisition will allow us to continue to meet the increasing demand from our clients in this specific niche domain. Having many competencies in house increases the quality of our services.”

As part of the deal, A-THREE will be integrated into EY and operate under the Big Four’s brand. Founders Bollaerts and Van der Steen will both become directors at EY. Under the helm of EY the A-THREE team will seek to expand its offerings. To date the startup consultancy had a strong focus on the consumer goods sector, by leveraging EY’s network Van der Steen expects to expand into other sectors. “We forecast increasing demand for our services. In addition to traditional demand from telco, distribution and retail, requests for revenue leakage screening will also come from other major sectors. The government and for example major cities are now also requesting such services.”

Deloitte Consulting swallows Sixtree
Deal Size: Undisclosed Industry: IT Consulting Date: July 18, 2016

Deloitte has acquired trans-Tasman systems integration specialist firm Sixtree to form the core of a new platform engineering unit within Deloitte Consulting’s technology advisory practice.

Sixtree was founded in Australia 2010 by Ben Wylie, Brett Wilson and Yamen Sader. It opened its office in Auckland, its first outside Australia, in mid 2015. The company specialises in a range of technologies that includes those from MuleSoft, Red Hat, Elastic, and Amazon Web Services.

Wylie and Sader will become Deloitte Consulting partners, and Wilson and Sixtree CTO Saul Caganoff will become principals of the new unit. The 45-strong team in Sixtree’s Sydney and Melbourne offices will join Deloitte in those cities and the Auckland team will join Deloitte New Zealand.

Deloitte Consulting managing partner, Robert Hillard, said the new unit would respond to demand created by the next generation of cloud-enabled digital technologies that are changing the way people work.

“By essentially re-engineering and integrating an organisation’s systems, the deep expertise offered by the Sixtree team will help increase business agility by bringing legacy and new technologies together quickly, seamlessly and effectively,” Hillard said.

Deloitte Consulting partner and platform engineering leader, Clifford Foster, added: “The capabilities of Sixtree team are relevant for organisations of every size, and across all sectors, and are increasingly required as part of large-scale transformation projects.

“They enable generally older businesses that have become rigid, and even trapped by outdated, un-integrated technology systems, to become ‘younger’ and more agile by wrapping digital applications and new technologies into an adaptable platform to meet immediate, medium and longer term needs.”

Caganoff said: “Only five years ago, businesses were happy to outsource everything to big system-wide integrators and build multi-year projects that ultimately failed as they were too ambitious and too inflexible. But huge changes in the way companies do business and how technology gets delivered have quickly emerged. Platform engineering and innovative solutions are the keys to enabling value and transformation quickly and incrementally, with ecosystems built through connectivity with modern and emerging technology partner and cloud providers.”

Are you a member of Equiteq Edge? It’s full of content to help consulting firm owners prepare for sale and sell their business. Register here to gain full access.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.