Accenture expands French Digital team with stake in OCTO Technology

30 September 2016 Consultancy.uk

Accenture is positioning itself to buy France-based IT consulting, design and implementation firm OCTO Technology. Accenture will initially purchase 47% of OCTO shares from shareholders, and, following the closure of the deal, make a voluntary cash tender offer for the rest of the shares. The acquisition boosts Accenture Digital’s presence in France and four other countries..

OCTO Technology (OCTO), founded in 1998, provides IT consulting, design and implementation services to clients seeking digital transformation in the manufacturing, retail, energy, financial services and telecommunications industries. The company has enjoyed steady growth since its founding, generating revenues of €38.4 million in 2015. Today, the firm has 320 staff operating across 5 offices in France, Brazil, Switzerland, Morocco, and Australia.

The deal, which has been agreed to by the Supervisory Board of OCTO, will see Accenture initially purchase 47.4% of OCTO from CEO and company founder François Hisquin, other equity partners of the French firm and Financière Arbevel. The premium paid by the US giant stands at 43.8% above the closing price on 14 September, and values the total share price of the company at €115 million. Accenture will, following the close of the deal (expected in Q1 2017), make a voluntary cash tender offer for the rest of the shares.

Following the acquisition, OCTO will become part of Accenture Digital, expanding the agency’s footprint in France through additional capabilities and operations. The clients of OCTO will, according to the firm, benefit from the “broad capabilities and deep industry experience of Accenture for their major projects.” François Hisquin will remain in his current position following the closure of the deal.

OCTO - There is a better way

Pascal Delorme, Accenture Digital's lead for France and Benelux, says, “OCTO has built an extremely talented, enthusiastic workforce that will significantly enhance the existing capabilities of Accenture Digital in France. With its flexible working culture, OCTO will invigorate Accenture’s operations in this region. OCTO’s leadership has demonstrated their firm support for the acquisition. Together, we can focus on delivering the greatest possible returns for clients locally and globally, applying our shared pragmatic and agile approach to technology to drive digital transformations.”

François Hisquin, CEO and founder of OCTO, adds, “We have always been a firm with international ambitions. The proposed sale of my shares and those belonging to OCTO’s partners demonstrates the value of the transaction and a strong belief that in becoming part of Accenture Digital, we can pursue a joint ambition to offer end to end digital transformation capabilities to clients. We intend to take full advantage of the global reach of Accenture Digital and their deep industry knowledge.”

The financial advisors covering the deal are Société Générale for Accenture and Rothschild & Cie for OCTO. Ledouble SAS acted as an independent expert to OCTO to judge the fairness of the tender offer.

In July Accenture followed a similar expansion strategy in Japan, where it acquired a majority stake in IMJ Corporation (600 staff). Accenture Digital has, of late, particularly in Europe been buying significant market share: in June it picked up dgroup in Germany (60 consultants) and one month prior to that Mobgen was purchased by the arm, a Netherlands headquartered digital specialist with around 160 professionals.

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