Navigant buys European energy & sustainability consultancy Ecofys

07 November 2016 Consultancy.uk

Navigant has acquired Ecofys, a European consultancy firm specialised in energy and sustainability. Roughly 150 consultants across four countries, including the UK, will join Navigant’s energy arm.

Founded in 1984, in the Netherlands, Ecofys has over the past three decades grown into one of Europe’s larger consulting firms specialised in energy, with a focus on sustainability matters. Today the consultancy has a team of around 150 consultants and staff, operating from bases in the Netherlands (headquarter), Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.

This morning Thijs Aarten, CEO and Managing Director of Ecofys, unveiled that the firm has decided to join the ranks of Navigant, with approximately 2,500 employees in 40+ offices one of the globe’s largest management consulting firms. The firm is being acquired from Eneco, a Dutch energy supplier, which has owned Ecofys since 2009 when it bought the consultancy as part of a larger deal.

The addition of Ecofys enhances Navigant’s capabilities and solution offerings in the energy landscape, providing the firm with, among others, additional expertise in the areas of energy policy, climate strategies and policies, energy systems, urban energy, and sustainability services.

Navigant acquires EcofysNavigant’s Energy arm already boasted a strong track record in the consulting industry – according to analyst reports released in recent years – and with the bolt-on of Ecofys the firm further advances its competitive edge in the realm, in particular in Europe. The US firm currently has offices in Birmingham and Londen, with no further presence across mainland Europe, while Ecofys has hubs in Utrecht, Berlin, Cologne and Brussels.

The addition also brings a range of accolades – Ecofys work for instance stood at the basis of the work which won the Nobel Peace Prize for contributions on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and large clients to Navigant's portfolio, including the World Bank, the European Commission and a range of corporates.

Commenting on the deal, Jan Vrins, Managing Director and leader of Navigant’s Energy segment, says “The addition of Ecofys strengthens Navigant’s energy solutions to our clients, creating robust capabilities for governments, utility companies, industry, and new entrants.” Vrins, who is one of the lead partners for Navigant’s support to New York’s REV Connect initiative, adds: “This will better enable our clients to effectively respond to and capitalise on the global transformation within the energy sector.” 

Ecofys’ CEO, Dutchman Thijs Aarten, believes the move represents a win-win. By integrating into a larger consulting firm, Ecofys can benefit from Navigant’s global reach, and for clients, the joining of forces will lead to broader and deeper expertise in strategy and implementation, “which will enable our clients to adapt to the ongoing energy and climate transition.” The energy consulting firm will for the time being continue to operate under its own brand.

Jeroen de Haas, CEO of Eneco, says he is pleased with the divestment to Navigant (financial terms have not been disclosed) and adds that he is confident that the two consulting groups will be a good match. “Ecofys has delivered value to Eneco and I am confident that with Navigant, it will continue to thrive.”

Earlier this year Navigant bought Dymedex Consulting, a US-based medical consulting specialist, and Goonan Performance Strategies, another US consultancy, specialised in leadership coaching and change management consulting.

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