After a couple of difficult years, the international consulting firm Atran is back on an acquisition path. Early June it bought American consulting firm Alpha Three Consulting and it expects to close two new deals in the coming months, as said by Altran CEO Philippe Salle in an interview with Reuters last week. These are a major acquisition in southern Europe and a takeover in India. The acquisitions are part of the new strategic course the firm initiated in October 2011.
In October 2011 the firm revealed its new corporate strategy for the period 2012-2015. The key drivers include focus on six key European markets, medium-sized acquisitions in emerging markets and increasing the turnover to more than €2 billion in 2015, coupled with a higher EBITA margin. At the same time, Altran decided to divest non-core businesses. In January 2012, Arthur D. Little was sold to partners of the strategy consulting firm and Hilson Moran to investors.
In the interview with Reuters, Salle confirmed that the planned acquisition in southern Europe, currently Altran’s biggest market, is close to a deal: “We have almost finalized the price negotiations”, thus the CEO. It is unknown which consulting firms are on the shortlist.
Salle also confirmed that it is actively pursuing a deal in India: “In India, we are in discussion with two different groups, one is quite advanced and the other is on-going”. In an interview with the Financial Times, Altran Chief Technical Officer Michel Bailly gave more details: “We are in discussions with several key players and we expect to announce these acquisitions as soon as we complete the due diligence process”. Indian newspapers report that the focus is on firms active in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors. The expected acquisition(s) are part of Altran’s objective to increase its headcount to 2,000 in India by 2014.
Acquisition of Alpha Three Consulting in the US
Early June Altran bought Alpha Three Consulting, an American consulting firm with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Alpha Three Consulting provides professional consulting and project engineering services to large governmental organisations in the U.S. As a result of the acquisition of the consulting firm, Altran now has 300 consultants across 7 offices in the US.