French management and IT consulting firm Solucom has acquired UK consultancy Hudson & Yorke. The London-based advisory will be consolidated in Solucom's accounts as of March the 1st 2015, and will continue to operate under its current brand.
Solucom was founded in 1990* and has since been on a growth trajectory, bringing the firm to its current size of roughly 1,300 employees across four offices in France and one in Morocco. In the early years Solucom mainly focussed on networks and telecoms consulting, with a strong IT component, over the past years the company has expanded its footprint into management consultancy and diversified across a number of industry and functional areas. After the launch of a new, ambitious strategic plan in 2011, the advisory accelerated its growth, both through organic growth as well as a range of acquisitions. In 2012 it poached Alturia Consulting and Eveho and a year later it integrated business advisory Stance Partners into its organisation. More recently Solucom bought Lumens Consultants (HR specialist), Trend Consultants (banking expert) and Audisoft-Oxea (finance specialist).
Following its expansion within France, Solucom’s management team recently set its sights on further bolstering its international reach. The firm already had partnerships in the UK (DMW Group), Spain (Hidra Partners) and Singapore (why innovation!), yet the ambition foresees gaining more autonomous ground. After a study of potential markets, the decision fell in favour of the UK. A number of consultancies were considered, and on the back of a positive due diligence on Hudson & Yorke’s operations, and successful negotiations phase, the firm decided to seal the deal. Financial details have not been disclosed, Solucom has however confirmed it will finance the transaction for the profitable business entirely in cash**.
“The UK, and especially London, is a key market in the consulting industry. We were attracted both by the reach and standing of the Hudson & Yorke brand and the firm's very high value-added positioning in this market. We are now eager to begin working with the Hudson & Yorke team; a collaboration which will enable us to seize some tremendous opportunities”, explains Pascal Imbert, Chairman of Solucom.
In a joint press release, both firms have touched upon the key drivers they see behind the deal. For Solucom, the acquisition offers the two-fold opportunity of gaining a foothold in the UK consulting market and strengthening its client portfolio. Hudson & Yorke works mainly for blue chip multinationals, including among others Barclays, BP, UBS and Zurich, but also government institutions such as the Department of Energy & Climate Change. The deal will also enable Solucom to provide its French clients with better advice for their UK-based operations.
For Hudson & Yorke, the merger is an opportunity to expand its existing service portfolio to new accounts and markets. In addition, the UK consultancy will be able to draw on the expertise of Solucom to deepen and broaden its range of services. Ultimately, this will better equip Hudson & Yorke to realise its bold ambition of becoming “the leading IT-sourcing advisory firm in Europe.” Harry McDermott, CEO of Hudson & Yorke, comments: “We will undoubtedly benefit from Solucom's experience of service diversification which will accelerate our expansion and help us to broaden our offer to clients. We are also excited at the opportunity to help with Solucom's development both in the UK and internationally.”
As part of the deal, Hudson & Yorke employees will transfer to Solucom, the firm will however continue to operate under its current brand. Hudson & Yorke's founding directors, Harry McDermott and Mike Newlove (founded in 2006), will stay on board and continue to lead the Hudson & Yorke business. Both advisors will also join Solucom’s Executive Committee.
* Solucom was founded by Michel Dancoisne and Pascal Imbert, who still hold a controlling interest of the firm.
** Hudson & Yorke has a turnover of more than £3.5 million (FY15 forecast) and a double-digit operating margin.