Consulting M&A Weekly Round-up (18th to 24th June, 2023)

by Laurent Thomas | Jun 26, 2023 | 0 comments

Greetings everyone! It is once again that time of the week when we delve into the captivating realm of consulting mergers and acquisitions. Today, we have a plethora of significant deals to discuss, ranging from Accenture’s noteworthy acquisition to SLR’s impressive double purchase.

Rest assured, we are here to ensure that you are well-informed about the most recent developments in the industry. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to overlook any of these exciting events.

Therefore, sit back, relax, and allow us to be your trusted companion as we navigate through the thrilling landscape of consulting M&A news.

#1. Accenture to acquire Anser Advisory and expand its capital project services

Accenture has agreed to acquire Anser Advisory, a consulting firm based in Santa Ana, California that offers advisory, compliance, and project management services for infrastructure initiatives.

Anser Advisory, which was established in 1996, offers capital project owners advice on how to organize, estimate, and plan projects as well as how to manage and carry out all of their phases. In addition to sustainability programs, fleet electrification, and energy transmission, distribution, and storage, the company is working more on renewable energy initiatives.

The acquisition of Anser by Accenture will increase its capacity for capital projects and take the consulting firm into a related industry with an estimated $88 billion in North American addressable market.

#2. SLR purchases sustainability specialists Carnstone and Ibis Consulting

SLR Consulting has completed its third and fourth UK acquisitions in less than a year with the additions of Carnstone and Ibis Consulting to its consulting arm. With these additions, SLR Consulting now has 150 employees in 10 countries.

Carnstone is a sustainability specialist and provider of advice and support to multinational corporations and international institutions, with a 45-person team based in the United Kingdom, France, China, and Singapore, specializing in climate change, human rights, inequality, and biodiversity loss across supply chains.

Speaking about the Carnstone deal, the CEO of SLR expressed that Carnstone’s expertise in assisting prominent corporations in tackling social, environmental, and climate concerns within their corporate strategies and supply chains, along with their experience in aiding sectors like pharmaceuticals and media in fulfilling their sustainability goals, and will significantly bolster SLR’s dedication to actualizing sustainability.

On the other hand, Ibis consulting, which is headquartered in Kent, United Kingdom, employs 100 professionals in South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.

It is Africa’s largest provider of sustainability data and assurance services, working with development financial institutions, private equity investors, banks, export credit agencies, asset managers, impact investors, and venture capitalists as they transition to ESG and impact-focused strategies.

The acquisition of Ibis was driven by the intention to enhance SLR’s corporate ESG advisory capability with a dedicated focus on sustainable finance. In an effort to distinguish itself from competitors, the firm has successfully assembled a substantial team of senior ESG and impact experts, positioning itself as one of the leading players in this field on a global scale.

#3. Delaware accelerates Salesforce growth with Scalefactory and Cloud Innovation acquisitions

Delaware, an international IT consultancy, has bolstered the growth of its Salesforce practice through the acquisitions of Scalefactory and Cloud Innovation.

Scalefactory, which was founded in 2009 by Stijn Wijndaele and Erik Dierinck, has an impressive track record of successfully introducing Salesforce solutions to the manufacturing, logistics, and high-tech industries.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, Cloud Innovation was established over a decade ago in 2012 by Sven Peleman, and offers Salesforce advisory and implementation services to clients across various sectors. The company also operates a training division.

Both Scalefactory and Cloud Innovation have now become part of Delaware in its domestic market of Belgium, contributing approximately 60 employees to the company’s workforce. Juan Staes, a partner at Delaware, expressed that this strategic move aligns with their aspirations of becoming a leading Salesforce player in the Benelux region.

#4. Neurodiverse IT consultancies Auticon and Unicus merge

Auticon, an IT consultancy based in Munich that specializes in employing professionals on the autism spectrum, has reached an agreement to merge with Unicus, an Oslo-based IT consultancy with a similar focus on autistic professionals.

Auticon, which was established in Germany in 2011, expanded its operations to Canada in 2020, where it currently operates an office in Calgary and employs approximately 20 individuals. The company also maintains offices in various locations across Western Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

On the other hand, Unicus, which was founded in 2009, employs around 30 people across its offices in Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

The merger was facilitated by Ferd, an investment company based in Oslo. Ferd, being the largest shareholder in both Auticon and Unicus, acted as the lead investor in the newly combined firm. Ferd initially invested in Unicus in 2009 and Auticon in 2018. Other investors involved in the merger include Autism Impact Fund, Felix Porsche, and Richard Branson.

The merged entities will operate under the name Auticon GmbH, which will serve as the joint holding company for shareholders from both Auticon and Unicus. Moreover, with a combined workforce of 575 employees, the majority of whom (81%) are individuals on the autism spectrum, the company anticipates exceeding €50 million in revenue and employing over 600 people by the end of 2023.

#5. Digital consultancy xDesign ropes in growth capital from Soho

Digital consulting firm xDesign has secured a fresh infusion of growth capital in an effort to strengthen its expansion plans. This investment from Soho Square Capital will help the company expand its operations throughout Europe.

xDesign, which was established in 2010 by Andrews, is still the company’s majority stakeholder, and now employs over 450 specialists in its offices in Leeds and Edinburgh. The company collaborates with a variety of significant national and international businesses, including as MoneySavingExpert, Yorkshire Building Society, and the Flutter Entertainment group, and offers them the skills and end-to-end digital capabilities they require to accelerate their objectives for digital transformation.

With Soho Square’s investment and support, xDesign will seek to accelerate its expansion plans, with a number of new office openings planned throughout the United Kingdom and internationally in particular.

This includes a Glasgow office that is scheduled to open in the summer and will be led by the new Head of Scotland, Darren Dalrymple. In addition to focusing on organic growth across its business, the company will also enhance its operational structure and corporate culture.

#6. Archus lands £9 million investment to drive international growth

Archus, a healthcare infrastructure specialist based in Bristol, has secured a significant investment of £9 million to fuel its global expansion efforts.

Initially established in southern England, Archus is a team of experts offering strategic advice and infrastructure solutions to clients in the healthcare and social care sectors. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the company has expanded to six offices across the United Kingdom and is now poised for international growth.

In the past year, Archus successfully established its presence in Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Cork. Building on this achievement, the company aims to further expand its operations to Canada, tapping into the vast North American market, as well as Australia.

To realize its ambitious goals, Archus has received a £9 million investment injection from BGF, a growth capital investment firm headquartered in the UK and Ireland.

Since its establishment in 2011, BGF has invested £3.5 billion in more than 500 companies and operates in Canada and Australia as well, aligning closely with Archus’ expansion plans.

Closing Thoughts

As we reflect on the past week in the consulting M&A realm, there is no doubt that it has been filled with more than a fair share of exciting developments and insightful trends.

We wanted to take the time to express our genuine gratitude to all of you who have been following along with us. We hope that our coverage has been both informative and valuable to you.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, we are all ears. We aim to continue delivering the kind of content that will keep you engaged and well-informed, so stay tuned for even more consulting M&A news. We’ll see you all next week. Cheers!