AlixPartners buys Zolfo Cooper, adding 200 advisors

18 February 2015 Consultancy.uk

Global consulting firm AlixPartners has acquired the European business of Zolfo Cooper. Approximately 200 advisors in the UK will transfer to AlixPartners, making it one of the largest specialised financial advisory firms in the region. The Zolfo Cooper businesses in the US, the Caribbean and Hong Kong will continue to operate under the Zolfo Cooper brand. Although no financial details have been disclosed, insiders reveal the deal is reportedly worth just under $100 million (£65 million).

With more than 1,200 employees across major economies, New York-based advisory firm AlixPartners is one the globe’s larger firms in the global professional services industry. The firm is majority-owned by private equity group CVC Capital Partners, and has since CVC’s involvement unveiled bold growth plans. Similar to its rival, Zolfo Cooper provides clients with a range of business advisory solutions, including among others turnaround, restructuring, forensic and litigation support, debt advisory and corporate finance.

AlixPartners buys Zolfo Cooper

In line with its five-year target to becoming the "leading global advisory, consulting, and interim management firm specialising in restoring, protecting, and enhancing corporate performance and value", AlixPartners has snapped up Zolfo Cooper Europe, which in essence is a UK-based business, with offices in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Glasgow. “Combining with Zolfo Cooper Europe will enable AlixPartners to better serve our UK, European, and global clients from an expanded position of strength and further reinforces our position as the pre-eminent global turnaround and restructuring group,” says Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners.

With the bundling of track record and expertise, AlixPartners significantly grows its footprint in the financial advisory segment of the consulting landscape. “Zolfo Cooper is well known and highly regarded and, along with AlixPartners’ strong capabilities in global restructuring, operations improvement, information management and litigation support, puts us in a great position to extend our market leadership,” notes Crawford.

The combined teams of AlixPartners and Zolfo Cooper creates a regional practice of close to 600 highly skilled professionals, which according to Stefano Aversa, Business Unit Leader of EMEA for AlixPartners, creates the “largest turnaround and restructuring group in Europe”. Key rivals include the financial advisory practices of the large strategy consulting firms (e.g. McKinsey, Roland Berger), dedicated service lines within the Big Four and more focussed players such as Navigant and FTI Consulting.

Fred Crawford - Stefano Aversa and Simon Freakley

As part of the acquisition, in-scope Zolfo Cooper business will be rebranded AlixPartners* following the completion of the acquisition, expected to occur by the end of February 2015. The offices in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Glasgow will be integrated into AlixPartners’ network, complementing its existing London office and international offices in Dusseldorf, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Zurich. “We’re extremely excited about the opportunity to bring these complementary skills, cultures, and reputations for outstanding client service together under the AlixPartners brand,” says Simon Freakley, CEO of Zolfo Cooper Europe.

* Zolfo Cooper US, Zolfo Cooper Caribbean and Zolfo Cooper Hong Kong are not part of the transaction and remain in Zolfo Cooper’s global network.

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