Accenture buys American and Australian consulting firm IBB

17 October 2017 Consultancy.uk

Accenture has completed the acquisition of strategy firm IBB Consulting, in a deal expected to see 160 skilled professionals join Accenture’s Strategy practice. While the two companies had entered into the buyout deal as early as September 2017, financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed.

Accenture has signed an agreement to acquire IBB Consulting, a consulting firm which works with leading broadband and mobile operators, media companies and technology providers, helping clients to identify emerging industry shifts, adapt to market disruption, and capitalise on new business and technology opportunities. The assimilation of IBB Consulting is targeted at strengthening the ability of Accenture Strategy to advise clients in the Communications, Media & Technology (CMT) industries. Mirroring the firm’s approach to the design industry, in which Accenture Interactive has become the world’s largest agency, Accenture Strategy looks to gain significant market share via the offering of a holistic service, assisting with design business and technology strategies to create future value, drive new growth and transform operations as clients seek to become fully digital businesses.

Increasingly, strategy and technology consulting have converged, thanks to the pervasiveness of digital, becoming a dominating feature of the leading consulting landscapes such as the US and UK. Over recent years, the digital transformation consulting sector has blossomed into a $23 billion industry, globally.

Accenture

Following completion of the acquisition, IBB Consulting’s approximately 160 strong workforce of skilled professionals are expected to join the Accenture Strategy CMT industry practice, to help them strengthen their position within the digital and strategy markets. The majority of IBB Consulting’s workforce are based in North America – home to the US, which is the largest consulting industry in the world – with another base in Australia. This will notably expand Accenture’s capabilities in delivering strategic thinking around key industry issues such as networks, digital video and IPTV, digital transformation, next generation mobility, internet of things (IoT), M&A, cloud, advanced advertising, data analytics and insights, marketing optimisation, and international growth.

Founded in 2001, IBB Consulting has assisted organisations across communication, media and technology develop market strategies. The Philadelphia-based strategy consulting firm has formerly served big companies like the Comcast Corporation and Verizon Communications.

Diversification strategy

Speaking on the deal, Accenture Strategy CEO Mark Knickrehm said, “Companies across all industries are staking claims in the digital world, disrupting media, communications, high tech companies and IoT players, fuelling deep competition from industry stalwarts and nimble new entrants alike... The acquisition of IBB Consulting will enhance our ability to deliver deep, industry-specific strategies for our clients by helping them define and deliver a new breed of capabilities that drive competitiveness, reduce costs, leverage emerging technologies and expand operational excellence to put them atop the intersection of business, technology and operations.”

Greg Douglass, a Senior Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, also noted, "The acquisition of IBB Consulting enhances our ability to deliver the latest thinking and strategies to our clients by leveraging emerging technologies that ultimately help them compete and win in the face of an expanding and evolving competitive landscape."

The purchase of IBB follows a series of acquisitions for Accenture’s consulting operations. In late 2016, the firm completed a deal to bring retail and consumer goods consultants Kurt Salmon into the fold, while earlier this year, Accenture picked up aviation advisory Seabury. In fact, so far in 2017, the company has either completed or signed over 15 acquisition deals across various business segments, including Altitude, Genfour, SinnerSchrader and New Energy Group – upping its efforts of 12 acquisition deals across various business segments last year. Following this sustained campaign of aggressive expansion, Accenture’s consulting operations have seen their stock grow by 17% this year at the time of writing, outperforming the 14.9% of the industry as a whole, as the firm have been able to diversify into new markets at a more rapid rate than many competitors.

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