Meet with Pierre Briand, Equiteq Managing Partner at the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference 2016!

Pierre's Microsoft Blog

Pierre Briand, Managing Partner, Equiteq Australia & New Zealand, has been announced as a speaker at the Australia Microsoft Partner Conference 2016 which will take place from 5-8 September on the Gold Coast.

Microsoft Australia Partner firm owners will be able to attend two sessions: A presentation by Pierre on the topic of When is the right time to sell your IT firm? (Tuesday 6th Sept at 1.00pm), and an interactive workshop, conducted jointly with Sylvaine Masson, Director M&A Services, Equiteq Asia-Pacific, on Ready, Steady, GO: Are you investor ready?” (Wednesday 7th at 10am).

With deal multiples remaining high and competition to acquire IT services firms with specialist capabilities strong; now is the perfect time for Microsoft Partners to hear first-hand from IT services M&A experts Equiteq, about who is buying, what they are looking for and how to get the maximum equity value for your firm.

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Equiteq advises on merger of PMsquare’s Australian and Asian consulting businesses with Cornerstone Performance Management

PMSquare Tombstone
Equiteq is pleased to announce that it’s client, PMsquare has merged its Australian and Asian businesses with Cornerstone Performance Management. The deal was announced on July 11, 2016. Equiteq acted as exclusive financial advisor to PMsquare.

Both organizations are IBM Premier Business Partners with a focus on the Business Analytics solution set. However, the primary geographical focus of PMsquare is in Singapore and the Philippines, whereas Cornerstone has traditionally been focused on the Australian market. PMSquare’s Australian operations will be absorbed directly into Cornerstone Australia in the coming months, whilst the Asian region will retain PMsquare’s branding as part of the Cornerstone Group.

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Key trends in the Australian B2B services M&A market

Australia & ChinaIn 2014 Australia became the second largest M&A market in Asia-Pacific, behind only China in volume and value terms. And across all industries, 2015 saw Australia M&A totals reach $146b, versus $117b in 2014, highlighting that there are exciting opportunities for both sellers and buyers in the “Lucky Country”.

The B2B services market in Australia is mature and vibrant across a number of segments, such as digital marketing and engineering. And while growth has slowed as a consequence of the evolution of the Chinese economy and the mining industry, it’s good timing for acquirers seeking targets and for sellers interested in joining larger organizations. The Australian dollar is at its lowest point against the US dollar in 7 years, a situation that is particularly appealing for international buyers. The country is demonstrating economic stability with prudent policy making, close trading relationships with China and well-targeted fiscal stimulus. The middle market and SMEs are the cornerstone of the Australian economy.

All the major global players in B2B services have operations in Australia and cross-border deal flows are healthy, with foreign investment (30% from the US, 45% from Asia, 10% from the UK) and outbound acquisitions.

Data from our Global Consulting M&A Report 2016, the only publicly available information on the global consulting M&A market, found that 75% of deals done worldwide were completed by only 5 countries: the US, UK, Australia, France and Canada.

Figure 18

Asia Pacific accounted for around 13% of all deals, largely driven by activity in Australia. The country experienced 3% growth in 2015 deal volumes, recovering from a 2014 decrease in deal activity of 5.8%. Its deal volume increases in 2015 were aided by falling commodity and currency prices that helped keep acquisition targets in the region competitive to international buyers.

Our research shows that buyers’ acquisition expectations have more than doubled in the past year. This reflects a growing M&A market in consulting, IT and other segments, underpinned by buyer appetite that continues to increase in size and volume across corporate and private equity buyers. With Australia having seen 25 years of consecutive economic growth and enjoying a thriving B2B services sector, we can see an exciting year of activity in this market.

If you are preparing to sell your consulting firm and would like to discuss your exit plans, please contact Pierre Briand, Managing Partner, on Pierre.Briand@equiteq.com

Facts and figures on Australia:

  • Population of 24m with Melbourne and Sydney combined reaching almost the 10m mark
  • 2015: GDP +2.3%, CPI +1.7%, unemployment rate 5.9%, GDP/capita US$64k
  • 12th economy in the world and AAA rating
  • IT and new tech sector ca $50b
  • Australia’s “soft power” in Asia: 260,000 Asian students in Australia

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