BCG and Darden School of Business develop online pricing courses

07 April 2017

Pricing continues to play a key role tn the currently high-charged M&A environment. To better prepare those within the business world on valuations, The Boston Consulting Group and the Darden School of Business have joined forces to deliver four online pricing courses through the Coursera platform.

Pricing companies’ operations and assets remains a key part of the wider business ecosystem, particularly in a time in which organic growth is relatively fleeting and mergers and acquisitions, as well as buyouts, continue to trend. Getting it right, whether for internal or external teams, is therefore as important, if not more important, than ever.

To develop the skills needed in the current business environment, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business have joined forces to offer four online pricing strategy courses, titled ‘Cost and Economics in Pricing Strategy’, ‘Customer Value in Pricing Strategy’, ‘Market and Competition in Pricing Strategy’, and ‘Pricing Strategy Optimization’.

BCG and Darden School of Business develop online pricing courses

Three of the offered courses focus on supporting students’ development of tools needed to accurately assess the value of a range of tangible and non-tangible assets, while the fourth course is project-based, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their pricing expertise. The courses, which will be part of the wider Coursera platform*, will be offered on an individual bases, and in their whole as a pricing strategy specialisation certificate programme.

Remarking about the programme, Thomas Kohler, an Associate Director in BCG’s Boston office, remarks, “This effort enables our firm to better serve our clients on building pricing capabilities while increasing access to pricing content we believe has wide applicability throughout the business world.”

Ron Wilcox, Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs at Darden says, “We’re pleased with the opportunity to partner with an industry leader on a global platform. This is an exciting new collaborative model, and one that has myriad benefits for Darden both in and out of the classroom.”

According to a recent study by Simon-Kucher & Partners, pricing pressures are on the rise globally.

* The Coursera platform is a joint offering between the Darden School of Business and Coursera, an online course provider. The course will be part of the wider massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered through the platform, in among others, entrepreneurship, design thinking, business strategy, and project management.


Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”