February 2019: Knowledge Economy M&A and Equity Market Update

By Ramone Param, Director, Equiteq

  • Industry deals profiled include Orange’s acquisition of SecureData, Point B’s acquisition of Independence Consulting and Blackstone’s investment in Lionpoint Group.
  • The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index experienced rises over the month.

Orange broadens its cyber security capabilities in the UK with its acquisition of SecureData

Target: SecureData is the largest independent cyber security provider in the UK with additional operations in South Africa.

Buyer: Orange is a France-headquartered provider of a range of telecommunications, data transmission and related services.

Deal insight:
Demand for cybersecurity solutions is growing as technology plays a greater role in critical business functions across industries. According to data from ResearchAndMarkets.com, Europe’s cybersecurity market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.3% and will be worth $47.2bn by 2023.

Orange acquires strong capabilities in this growing industry, particularly within cyber-criminality, security research and penetration testing. The acquisition extends Orange Cyberdefense’s existing operations in France and Belgium into the UK and South Africa. The acquisition follows Orange Business Services’ purchase of data and digital services specialist Business & Decision. These deals form part of the buyer’s strategy to become a global player in digital transformation and a leader across data services.

Point B acquires management consulting firm Independence Consulting

Target: Independence Consulting is a management consulting firm based in North Carolina with expertise in strategy and financial services.

Buyer: Point B is a US-based integrated management consulting, digital services, venture investment and real estate development firm.

Deal insight:
The acquisition extends Point B’s core management consulting offering with niche strategy capabilities. The deal follows its purchase of Portland-based digital agency TNG in 2017. These transactions will support Point B’s strong growth profile. The company has announced 21% revenue growth and an extension of its team to 950 people in 2018. The buyer’s employee-owned structure and strong workplace culture will have been attractive elements of the deal for the Independence Consulting team. Fortune magazine named Point B the best medium workplace in the US at the end of 2017.

Anaplan Gold Partner Lionpoint announces investment from Blackstone

Target: Lionpoint Group is a “consult-tech” firm that transforms alternative investments’ management and operations.

Buyer: Blackstone is a private equity firm.

Deal insight:
Lionpoint is focused on serving a client base that is under rapid transformation due to new competition, regulatory change and accelerating digital disruption, presenting significant opportunities for consulting firms. The business is also a valued partner of growing cloud-based connected planning SaaS provider Anaplan, which successfully IPO’d in October 2018.

Blackstone had previously partnered with Lionpoint to deliver solutions for its business and portfolio companies. The acquisition of Lionpoint follows Blackstone’s acquisition of cloud services firm Cloudreach and Aon Hewitt’s technology-enabled benefits & cloud-based HR service platform in 2017. Lionpoint is expected to use the investment to accelerate the development of its IP and growth plans.

Selected Knowledge Economy M&A announced in February:

Source: PitchBook, S&P Capital IQ and Company Press Releases

Economy Knowledge Economy Share Price Index

Source: S&P Capital IQ

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