Accenture acquires Belgium-based design agency Kunstmaan

26 April 2017

Accenture has acquire Belgium-based design agency Kunstmaan. The acquisition adds around 70 professionals to Accenture's growing footprint in the digital design and consultancy space in Europe. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Kunstmaan is a Leuven, Belgium, based design agency, with a wide people focused repartee, including intelligent communication and design as well as the wider use of innovative technologies as part of the development of a people centred customer experience. The agency, which was founded in 1998, has since grown to an interdisciplinary team of about 70 people across its base and an office in Antwerp.

Accenture acquires Kunstmaan

As the divide between consultancy, design and digital development shrinks further, large professional services and a mix of consultancy firm types have begun to launch stand alone holistic design consultancy services – Deloitte for instance launched Deloitte Digital, IBM launched IBM Interactive Experience, while Accenture launched Accenture Interactive.

Accenture interactive has become the world’s biggest and fastest-growing digital agency, revenues were up almost 60% in 2016, hitting almost $3 billion (IBM Interactive Experience generated $2.1 billion in revenue in 2016 and Deloitte Digital generated $1.6 billion). The acquisition continues the firm’s global inorganic expansion drive*, expanding its footprint into Belgium and further strengthening its offerings in the brand, creative and marketing services segment to clients. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“With Kunstmaan, we are accelerating our market position in Belgium as an agency where clients come for a truly holistic customer experience offering,” says Anatoly Roytman, head of Accenture Interactive for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. “Together, we’re bringing our unique model to the market: part creative agency, part business consultancy and part technology powerhouse – all laser focused on creating the best customer experiences on the planet.”

Wim Vanhaeren, the founder Kunstmaan, reflects on the sale of the company, “Becoming part of the Accenture Interactive family will allow us to lend our creativity and experience to a much broader scope of projects and clients. We are driven by a passion to create human experiences for the right customer touch points using the right communication channels and tools. We are excited about joining Accenture as we firmly believe it will provide tremendous opportunities for our team and skills to flourish and grow.”

* The firm has now made eleven acquisitions in the digital agency space. Most recently the firm picked up German digital agency SinnerSchrader, earlier this year adding UK creative agency Karmarama. Other recent acquisitions in Europe include OCTO (France), MOBGEN (Netherlands, Spain), and Tecnilógica (Spain).


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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

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.”