Accenture buys American and Australian consulting firm IBB

17 October 2017

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.


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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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.”