M&A activity is strong for specialized operational management consulting businesses that provide innovative, data-driven process improvement and cost reduction solutions
We continue to receive feedback from the most prolific buyers of knowledge-intensive services firms that expertise in helping healthcare providers with process improvement and operational efficiency is of high strategic importance for growth. A confluence of demographic, economic and regulatory drivers are forcing providers to improve care standards and enable efficiencies. Providers are also increasingly being compelled to invest in new digital technologies that can create data-driven productivity improvements and competitive advantages. These industry trends are driving strong demand and premium valuations for well-positioned operational consulting firms working with healthcare providers. Equiteq experienced this demand first hand in its sale of c3/consulting to Ankura. c3 has a track record of providing management consulting services to a variety of leading healthcare organizations in the US.
Buyers are paying premiums for specialized strategy consulting businesses that provide impactful product commercialization solutions for life sciences companies
Based on our in-depth discussions with global buyers and the recent flurry of M&A activity, acquisition demand for life sciences strategy consultancies is exceptionally high. Recent landmark acquisitions by both strategic and financial buyers were struck at premium valuation levels – and as the supply of high-quality acquisition targets continues to dwindle, valuation levels of independent consultancies of scale could rise even further.
There was notable activity in October from a range of prolific acquirers of consulting firms, particularly those active within the IT Services segment. Major deals included DXC Technology’s acquisition of Logicalis SMC, Orange Business Services’ acquisition of Business & Decision and Office Depot’s acquisition of CompuCom. There were also two notable digital acquisitions announced by Cognizant and three healthcare-focused deals announced by Atos. Equiteq was also pleased to advise VISEO on their acquisition of Singapore-based IT Services firm NAIT Consulting and property consulting firm McBains Cooper on their sale to RSBG.
Private equity appetite for North American healthcare-focused advanced analytics capabilities remains hot as EQT announces its acquisition of Press Ganey for ~$2.35bn
In our last quarterly M&A update, we highlighted NTT’s landmark acquisition of Perot Systems as one of the major IT services transactions that would complete this summer. Perot Systems is strong in the U.S. healthcare segment and received bids from a number of prolific strategic technology buyers across the globe. The strong interest in the transaction reflected continued deal activity in the broader U.S. healthcare services sector, a segment which is benefiting from the reforms created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. In addition to the provision of traditional consulting and outsourcing services, analytics models and tools are important for healthcare providers to consider the necessary organizational changes required as part of the ACA reforms. The growth opportunities for consulting companies with advanced analytics capabilities has resulted in a number of recent landmark acquisitions in this space, many notably involving the private equity buyer community.