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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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”