Altran acquires cybersecurity and logistics consultancies

16 August 2017 5 min. read

Altran has completed the acquisitions Italian logistics consultancy NEXT Ingegneria dei Sistemi, and Information Risk Management (IRM), a UK-based company specialising in risk identification, management and mitigation, with services ranging from strategic information consultancy to software and professional education. The purchases come as Altran attempts to further consolidate on impressive revenue growth in 2016, through a campaign of aggressive expansion.

French multinational Altran saw consolidated revenues grow by 9% to more than €2,120 million in 2016, and the consulting firm has continued pushing to expand in the following year to further boost that growth. The consultancy, which then saw its growth lifted by the completion of five acquisitions across its network, has continued to look to an aggressive acquisition strategy to deliver this, with its global employee count fast approaching 30,0000.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Rome with operations across Italy, NEXT has a total workforce of circa 230 employees. The combination of Altran and NEXT will see these employees join Altran’s own pool of talent, enabling the delivery of end-to-end embedded hardware and software solutions to clients in the Defence & Aerospace sector. NEXT, an Italy-based embedded software company which primarily serves clients in the Defense, Aerospace and Rail industries, provides customers with advanced software products and services. Its client portfolio includes key industry players such as Leonardo, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Bombardier Transportation. By obtaining NEXT, Altran hopes that it can re-inforce its position in the sector, which has seen it gain notable contracts including working in partnership with Rapita systems and Oxford University on aviation technologies.

Altran acquires information risk management

The acquisition of IRM meanwhile see Altran attempt to enhance its Cyber Security offering, as the firm seeks to make the most of increasing market interest in the prevention of cyberattacks. IRM already caters to a diverse base of commercial and governmental clients, including BNP Paribas, Telefónica, and even the UK Ministries of Defence, Transport, the Cabinet Office and GCHQ (including a strong alliance with its newly established UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). However, Altran will hope the two firms combined can grow this portfolio even further.

Following high-profile cases such as the global WannaCry hack that hit NHS networks earlier in 2017, companies are increasingly keen to address emerging and highly demanding Cyber Security risks arising from trends around digital transformation and the large-scale use of technologies such as industrial IoT, and autonomous systems increasingly being thought of as essential to the future of business. Potential clients of Altran are also facing new and evolving regulations in Europe, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which could see FTSE100 companies fined as much as $5 billion at current rates of data breaches.

Headquartered in Cheltenham, IRM has a total workforce of 82 employees, including a senior management team featuring a high degree of experience within the information security risk industry. As a result, the co-founders Charles White and David Cazalet will remain in the business post acquisition, as Altran attempts to leverage their expertise to favour their client base.

Altran was advised legally on the deal by law firm Hogan Lovells, and on financial matters by Big Four firm EY, while IRM were advised on the M&A by Lincoln International, and on legal concerns by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Commenting on this acquisition, Dominique Cerutti, Chairman & CEO of the Altran Group, stated: "Cyber Security has become a global concern and an acknowledged priority for protecting the digital economy. It is key for the secure deployment of technologies around digital transformation, IoT, Industry 4.0 and autonomous vehicles. With the acquisition of IRM, there is a real opportunity for Altran to take a leading position in this space.”

Charles White, Co-founder and CEO of IRM, meanwhile added, "Altran and IRM have a shared vision to create a world class Cyber Security offering for the benefit of our clients and which will challenge and motivate our professionals as this exciting market evolves".

The deal follows the acquisition of Pricol Technologies earlier in the year, a deal aimed at boosting the firm's capability in the rapid prototyping space, adding around 520 staff to the firm as well as a number of proprietary technologies and processes.