July 2017: Consulting M&A Update

By Ramone Param, Associate Director, Equiteq

DXC Technology acquires Microsoft Dynamics 365 specialist Tribridge

DXC Technology made its first acquisition after forming in April following the merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services unit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The technology giant acquired 740-person Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting firm Tribridge and its managed cloud business Concerto Cloud Services.  The deal is expected to enhance the buyer’s consulting offerings focused on clients in health care, government, consumer packaged goods, and professional services.

Tribridge is one of the largest independent integrators of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and is a six-time winner of Dynamics 365 Worldwide and U.S. Partner of the Year. Tribridge will become part of DXC Eclipse, an IT application consulting business acquired by the business in October 2015 for c.$300m.

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June 2017: Consulting M&A Update

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By Ramone Param, Associate Director, Equiteq

Accenture acquires Salesforce specialist Phase One

Accenture agreed to acquire Phase One Consulting Group, a Virginia-based digital transformation specialist for the federal market with strong capabilities in Salesforce cloud solutions. Phase One will join Accenture Federal Services upon completion of the deal.

Phase One offers secure cloud implementation and consulting services to federal agencies for projects across various government sectors. The business had backing from RLJ Equity Partners, who acquired Phase One in early 2015. The company also received an undisclosed amount of development capital from Salesforce Ventures in September of last year.

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What I learned during the sale of my consultancy

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This week we have a blog from Marc Jantzen, founder and former CEO of Blue Sky Performance Improvement, who sold his consultancy to Capita in 2013. He is now an Associate Director at Equiteq.

We’d been building value in our consultancy with a view to selling it for several years and I was pleasantly surprised at the speed with which we received an offer, and at its size, when we decided the time was right to sell. However this was by no means the only surprise in a sale process during which I learned a lot.

Balancing everyday operations and deal demands

While there will obviously be more work to do during the deal process, the challenge of running the business in parallel with meeting information requests for the deal should not be underestimated. Bear in mind too that if you choose not to share the fact you’re looking to sell widely with staff, you will find yourself requesting information from staff and not being able to explain exactly why you need this data.

And the demands do not fall only on the management team; the finance team’s workload also increases dramatically. If I was going through the process again now, I would hire additional resource for our finance team, because we found that they didn’t have time to keep on top of our debtors like they normally did. This affected our working capital, which is a key figure that buyers scrutinize.

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Consulting Sector M&A Deals for week beginning 1st September

businessman doing handstand on the beachPublicis Groupe SA (France) acquired Nurun, Inc. (Canada)
Deal Size: $114.4 million Industry: Marketing consulting Date: September 2014
Publicis Groupe has acquired Nurun, an independent global design and technology consultancy, from Quebecor Media for 125 million Canadian dollars, or about $114.4 million at the current exchange rate. The acquired firm has two divisions including Nurun Global, which offers strategy, design, ecommerce and technology services worldwide. Nurun IT Consulting Services has one big client: the Quebec Provincial Government, for which it provides IT outsourcing and system integration services. “The acquisition of Nurun is another step forward in strengthening our world-class digital operations, and position as The Human Digital Agency,” said Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe. “Nurun’s expertise, based on a combination of design and new technologies, will not only bring widely recognized talent and capabilities to our clients, but also strengthen Publicis Groupe’s digital global presence.” Nurun, Inc., a global design and technology consultancy, specialises in digital design and technological innovation. Publicis Groupe SA provides a range of advertising and communications services worldwide.

Willis Risk Services Limited (Ireland) to acquire Irish Pension and Advisory Business from IFG Group plc (Ireland)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
The Board of IFG Group plc (“IFG”) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its Irish pension and advisory business to Willis Ireland, part of Willis Group Holdings. Paul McNamara, CEO of IFG Group, welcomed the agreement saying “The newly combined business, backed by the global scale and presence of Willis, represents a compelling opportunity for our colleagues and enhanced services for clients. This transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus on the continued growth and development of James Hay Partnership and Saunderson House. The sales proceeds will further strengthen our balance sheet and facilitate investment in these businesses. IFG is now a more sharply focused Group with well-positioned businesses and the resources to pursue increased growth in our core markets.” Willis Risk Services (Ireland) Limited provides insurance and re-insurance brokerage, pensions, actuarial, and risk management consulting services. IFG Group plc, Irish Pension and Advisory Business represent the combined operations of IFG Pensco Limited, IFG Private Clients Limited, Planlife Trustee Services Limited, Retirement Strategies Ltd, and Trade Credit Brokers Ltd. IFG Pensco Limited provides pensions consultancy and administration services. IFG Private Clients Limited and Retirement Strategies Ltd provide financial advisory services. Planlife Trustee Services Limited operates as a professional trustee company. Trade Credit Brokers Ltd. provides trade credit insurance brokerage services.

IHS Inc. (USA) acquired PCI Acrylonitrile (UK)
Deal Size: Unspecified Industry: Management consulting / Strategy Date: September 2014
IHS Inc., the leading global source of critical information and analytics, announced it has acquired PCI Acrylonitrile, a strategic provider of chemical market insight and consulting services for the global acrylonitrile and derivatives industry. The acquisition of PCI Acrylonitrile further deepens and strengthens the existing IHS Chemical global market coverage in the commodity and engineering plastics and fibers sectors. Together with the expertise and insight offered by IHS in the areas of aerospace, electronics and automotive, the addition of PCI Acrylonitrile demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing leading information, insight and consulting capabilities across the entire spectrum of the chemical to end-user value chains. “The acquisition of PCI Acrylonitrile is a tremendous addition to our industry-leading chemical market advisory service covering the fibers and plastics businesses,” said Scott Key, IHS president and CEO. “The acrylonitrile analysis, combined with our IHS Chemical olefin, propylene market and special reports coverage, as well as the upstream market coverage we deliver at IHS, will provide unparalleled integrated analysis that is essential to our customers. We are excited to welcome Simon Garmston, who is recognized globally for his expertise in this highly specialised, but strategically important and growing chemical market.” IHS Inc. provides critical information, insights, and analytics worldwide. Continue reading