January 2020: Knowledge Economy M&A and Equity Market Update

  • Major deals profiled include NTT Data Services’ acquisition of Flux7, Accenture’s purchase of Clarity Insights and Atos’ acquisition of Maven Wave.
  • The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index rose over the month.

NTT Data Services acquires Flux7, bolstering its AWS consulting capabilities.

Target: Flux7 is a US-headquartered company specialized in cloud implementation and migration, automation and DevOps consulting services.

Buyer: NTT Data Services is a US-headquartered provider of IT insights and solutions.

Deal insight: The acquisition of Flux7 forms part of three acquisitions announced by NTT Data Services in 2019. The buyer is bolstering its IT consulting capabilities across North America and the purchase of Flux7 adds consulting capabilities in the rapidly growing AWS’ public cloud. The deal also strengthens NTT Data Services’ capabilities in application modernization, a space in which it was named a leader in the Q3 2019 Forrester Wave for Application Modernization and Migration Services.

In April, Flux7 raised funding from NewWave Partners to invest in the expansion of its DevOps consulting services. Its acquisition by NTT Data Services will give Flux7 access to NTT’s global R&D capabilities and infrastructure. The deal will also enable Flux7 to offer its clients a broader set of digital transformation and innovation capabilities from an established global platform.

Accenture acquires Clarity Insights, further expanding its artificial intelligence consulting capabilities.

Target: Clarity Insights is a US-based data consultancy with knowledge in machine learning and deep data science.

Buyer: Accenture is a professional services company headquartered in Ireland.

Deal insight: Accenture recently announced its earnings for the first quarter ended 30 Nov. 2019. Investments in the firm’s fast-growing digital and cloud services businesses are boosting its revenue and gross margins. The buyer invested $110m in acquisitions in the quarter and expects to invest up to $1.6bn in acquisitions for FY 2020. As part of the firm’s recent earnings call Accenture CEO Julie Sweet noted that the firm’s acquisition strategy for the year continues to consist of the following three elements:

  1. Scaling hot skill areas where they see a large market opportunity;
  2. Continuing to add skills and capabilities in “The New”; and
  3. Deepening industry and functional expertise.

Clarity Insights adds c.350 people with capabilities in artificial intelligence, data analytics and automation to Accenture’s Applied Intelligence business. The acquisition enables Accenture to scale in a hot market segment that comprises “The New” with limited skilled talent and acquisition opportunities. The deal complements Accenture’s other recent acquisitions in the artificial intelligence and analytics space, including Knowledgent and Kogentix in North America, as well as Pragsis Bidoop in Spain and Analytics8 in Australia. 

Atos acquires Maven Wave as the firm strengthens its Google Cloud capabilities.

Target: Maven Wave, a digital transformation company and Google Cloud Premier Partner based in the US.

Buyer: Atos is a provider of IT services and solutions headquartered in France.

Deal insight: The purchase of Maven Wave expands Atos’ capabilities in Google cloud consulting in the US. Maven Wave is a c.330 person Google Cloud Premier Partner and has been named as the Google Cloud North America Services Partner of the year in 2018 and 2019. The firm is focused on building digital solutions using cloud-based applications, data analytics and machine learning in hybrid and multi-cloud platforms. It is expected to generate c.$130m in revenue for 2019.

In April 2018, Atos formed a global partnership with Google Cloud to deliver secure hybrid cloud solutions, data analytics and machine learning. The acquisition of Maven Wave strengthens Atos’ Google Cloud partnership in North America and in over 20 countries covered by the alliance. The deal also complements Atos’ strong capabilities in areas like SAP HANA, application modernization and transformation, digital workplace, IoT and analytics. The acquisition of Maven Wave marks Atos’ third acquisition in 2019, following its purchase of digital identity specialist IDnomic and SAP consulting firm X-perion.

Selected Knowledge Economy M&A announced in December:

Source: PitchBook, S&P Capital IQ and company press releases

Knowledge Economy Share Price Index

Source: S&P Capital IQ

Note: The Equiteq Knowledge Economy Share Price Index is the average of Equiteq’s five segmental indices and is the only published share price index which tracks the listed companies within the knowledge economy. The index is continually revised to consider new listed companies and to remove businesses that are no longer relevant in each quarter.

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